Bodies of man and his daughter recovered after drowning at Cape Carnot near Port Lincoln

| 23.04,19. 06:26 AM |

Bodies of man and his daughter recovered after drowning at Cape Carnot near Port Lincoln

Rough weather hampered emergency crews in their search for the pair. (ABC News)

The bodies of a man and his young daughter who drowned after being hit by a freak wave on a rocky outcrop on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula have been recovered.

The 35-year-old man from the Adelaide suburb of Holden Hill and his five-year-old daughter were taking photographs at the Whaler's Way Sanctuary at Cape Carnot, south of Port Lincoln, when they were swept into the ocean on Sunday afternoon.

It is understood a bystander stopped another man from diving in to try and save them.

The bodies were spotted on Sunday afternoon but rough conditions hampered recovery.

The girl's body was pulled from the water last night and the man was found this morning.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

Signs at the site warn visitors of the dangers of the area.

'Chances of survival would be very slim'

SA Police Superintendent Paul Bahr said he understood bystanders had assisted by stopping others from jumping into the water, and said he would discourage anybody from jumping into dangerous waters, no matter the circumstances.

"Unless you are an extremely powerful swimmer, you are going to have trouble in this sort of water," he said.

"There are very strong currents, very strong swells, very strong waves, your chances of survival in the water here would be very slim.

"Your best response is to stay on shore, observe and try and get something to the person that will assist them to float."

He said the area was well-known for its dangerous waters and the incident had left him with a "hollow feeling".

"This is a very treacherous piece of coast, it's open directly to the Southern Ocean, even though you may have a very benign, nice day on land, the Southern Ocean does have a quite deadly swell," he said.

"Freak waves are not uncommon and it really serves as a warning to everyone who ventures down to this part of the coast, beware and stay away from the water."

Warning not to repeat mistake

Glenn Theakstone, the co-owner of Whaler's Way Sanctuary, said "no photo is worth your life".

"Unfortunately, I think that's what's happened here," he said.

"They've gone to take a selfie with the white spray behind them and it's washed them off the rocks."

He said there was also "a lot of close calls" in the area.

"It is quite a dangerous area if you do not respect it, of course," Mr Theakstone said.

"The stories will go on and on and I don't know how to stop it unless you close the gates and then millions of people throughout the world will not be able to see it."

Brent Haldane's son Jordan stopped another man from jumping in the sea to save the pair.

"What a horrible emotional day we witnessed today," Brent Haldane posted to Facebook.

"Two lives lost in front of our eyes — helpless as they vanished instantly, something I wish no-one has to ever deal with.

"Please hug your family members that bit closer every day from now on — life's too precious not to.

"RIP little one, with your dad forever."


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