Perth man drowns at Collie's Stockton Lake

LAKE TRAGEDY: The body of John Rashidi was located by Water Police after an extensive two-day search of Stockton Lake. Photo: Breeanna Tirant.
LAKE TRAGEDY: The body of John Rashidi was located by Water Police after an extensive two-day search of Stockton Lake. Photo: Breeanna Tirant.

Collie Police have called for the public to be cautious in the water following the drowning death of a 22-year-old man on January 7 at Stockton Lake. 

The body of John Rashidi was located by Water Police on Wednesday, January 9, after an extensive two-day search of the lake. 

Collie Police Senior Sergeant Heath Soutar said after four dives on Tuesday, January 9, the search for the man’s missing body was suspended to the next day.

“At approximately 9:20am this morning police divers re-entered the water and shortly after commencing their search they managed to locate the deceased person on the lake floor, about 30 metres off shore, in about 15 metres of water,” he said.

Mr Rashidi, of Perth, came into difficulty while swimming out to retrieve an inflatable and failed to surface.

Three women, aged between 17 and 19, swam out to attempt to rescue the man. 

However, they were unsuccessful. 

Senior Sergeant Soutar said their attempt at rescuing the man was a tremendous act of bravery. 

“The young man’s family are very traumatised by the event, but hopefully by finding him it can provide a bit of closure to the family,” he said.

Senior Sergeant Soutar said the incident was a reminder to be constantly vigilant around the water.

“I do implore people using any of the lakes or water bodies to just be aware of your surroundings and the drop offs and be comfortable with your own swimming ability, the depth of water you are swimming in and your environment. Sometimes water can be quite treacherous,” he said. 

LAKE TRAGEDY: Collie Police Senior Sergeant Heath Soutar said the incident was a reminder to be constantly vigilant around the water. Photo: Breeanna Tirant.

LAKE TRAGEDY: Collie Police Senior Sergeant Heath Soutar said the incident was a reminder to be constantly vigilant around the water. Photo: Breeanna Tirant.

Royal Life Saving Society Australia statistics show this is the third death by drowning in WA this summer.

People are 3.7 times more likely to drown in regional WA than in the Perth metropolitan area, and in the 2016/17 Royal Life Saving Society Australia Drowning Report, it found that males were six times more likely to drown than females. 

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said it was always tragic when someone lost their life on the water and this was no exception.

“In light of this week’s incident I want to remind everyone to take all possible precautions and care when out in the water this summer,” he said.

“Always remember the additional hazards, such as logs and rocks when swimming in rivers and streams, remember to look out for each other and not to swim beyond your ability.

“It should go without saying that, if you’re going to be swimming, you should not be drinking alcohol.

“While everyone wants to get out there and enjoy this year’s summer, we must all remember the importance of water safety.”

For more information on how to stay safe in the water, head to www.royallifesaving.com.au/