YOLANDE Scheffer was always fond of the mantra “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today”.
Tasmania -She posted that message on Facebook just weeks before she tragically drowned while saving her nine-year-old daughter.
The loving mother took her two daughters to Somerset Beach in Tasmania on Thursday, but it turned into a nightmare when they were struck by a wave. They found themselves struggling and the mother became unconscious.
Six off-duty Somerset Surf Life Saving Club members jumped in the ocean to rescue the family and ambulance officers attempted to give the 49-year-old woman CPR.
She died a short time after being taken to North West Regional Hospital.
Tributes have been left at the beach from people touched by the tragedy, with flowers delicately placed on an old, wooden picnic table facing the ocean
Tasmania Police Sergeant Steve Jones told The Mercury the mother was unconscious when she was pulled from the water.
“This is a tragic incident and it was very lucky more lives were not lost,” he said.
“It has had a massive impact on the community and everybody involved is very saddened by what has happened.”
The family was boogie boarding at what is considered to be a safe beach and Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s Boyd Griggs, told ABC there was a strong offshore breeze.
“I’m not sure whether one of them had lost their board,” he said.
People have shared their grief on Facebook, dubbing the mother as a hero.
The self-employed naturopath was also described as a “kind and compassionate person”.
Clients at her business, Orion III Healing, are also saddened by the news.
“Sorry to the family for the loss of such a wonderful lady,” one of her clients posted to Facebook.
Ms Scheffer also had a 15-year-old son who was not at the beach with the family.
Police said the two young daughters were being comforted by bystanders at the surf club after the tragedy.
A report is being prepared for the coroner.
Courtesy of Newscom.au by Olivia Lambert