Devastating new details in former Wallaby's tragic death

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, former Wallaby Dr Mick Barry tragically died at a Gold Coast beach.
Former Wallaby Dr Mick Barry died in a Gold Coast drowning tragedy. Pic: Ch9

Distressing new details have come to light around the tragic death of former Wallabies player, Dr Mick Barry.

A respected surgeon, tributes poured in for the 78-year-old former rugby union star, after the shocking news that he’d died at a Gold Coast beach on Friday.

Queensland Police say Dr Barry suffered a medical episode after being caught in a rip and dragged from the water at Currumbin beach just before 6am.

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Paramedics arrived at the beach and Dr Barry was given CPR but he was unable to be saved and tragically died at the scene.

Dr Barry was a member of a local swimming group, but experienced trouble when he and four other swimmers were caught in a powerful rip.

"A 78-year-old Miami man and five of his long-time friends went for a daily swim in the ocean near the Currumbin Vikings Surf Club," District Duty Officer Brendan Wiblen said.

"Once in the water they experienced a strong southerly pull in the water.

"They started to struggle, one was pulled to the beach by his friends.

"They realised that the male who died was still in the water struggling so they went back in and pulled him in too.

"At some point he's suffered a medical episode.

"His friends and the ambulance attempted to give him CPR but he was unable to be revived."

None of the other swimmers with Dr Barry were injured but his death left his friends traumatised and the local community in shock.

Seen here, Dr Mick Barry died after being caught in a powerful rip at Currumbin beach.
Mick Barry drowned while swimming on the Gold Coast. Images: Nine News

"They were distressed that something as tragic as this has happened on one of their routine daily activities," District Duty Officer Wiblen said.

"He was well known to the local community down there."

Local community rocked by tragedy

Dr Barry was a prominent member of the community and a member of the local surf swimming group, known as The Dingoes.

Jim Burdette, who was swimming with Dr Barry when he got into trouble, said the community is in disbelief.

“Everyone is shocked. The whole local community,” he said, according to Nine News.

“He touched a lot of people in the sporting world and in the medical world.”

Shiike Vanderwerff, a personal trainer at the surf club, said Dr Barry was known for his morning swimming routine and was a much-loved member of the local community.

"One of my clients, Brian, and I performed CPR on the beach," Vanderwerff said.

"They'll be hurting. Mick was one of the originals.

"He'll be remembered very fondly.

"He's been dissecting the last three Wallabies tests for us all.

The former halfback debuted for Queensland in 1966 and represented Australia in one Test match against South Africa in 1971.

He also played for the Junior Wallabies against the British Lions and the All Blacks.

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