A VETERAN rescue diver says the weekend drowning of a father of three at Yarrawonga just days from Christmas will not be the last tragedy of the summer.
The body of Sydney carpenter and father Jovica Djukic, 44, was found about 9am yesterday by Yarrawonga State Emergency Service volunteers after a two-day search.
Mr Djukic was last seen between 3pm and 5pm on Saturday swimming alone in the Murray River at Bruce’s Bend, about 100 metres from the shore where he and his family were camping.
Corowa Volunteer Rescue Association diver Peter Wright was called to help with the search about 9.30pm on Saturday.
It was a call that, in his 32 years of experience with the organisation, he instinctively knew was not going to end well.
He said if swimmers were not found quickly after they go missing, then the chances of finding them alive were slim.
“You can make an assessment of the situation very quickly,” Mr Wright said.
“You hope it’s not the case, but the likelihood has proven otherwise.
“The likelihood of him getting to the bank is pretty low. I can’t recall a situation where that’s happened.”
Mr Wright fears another drowning will happen this summer.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s when it happens,” he said.
“You can’t see the current, the current’s not apparent when you’re standing on the bank.”
He urged parents to never lose sight of their children by the water and if a person does get into trouble in the river, to go with the current and not fight it.
“Just focus on keeping your head above water, let the river take you downstream, the river will take you to a bank or a snag.”
Melbourne couple Tracy O’Connor, 42, and Ryan Coldhill, 35, were camping just metres from where Mr Djukic’s body was found and they were packing up yesterday morning.
“It’s horrible, just horrible,” Ms O’Connor said.
“It instils in you how careful you have to be.”