Tragedy at remote Australian beach
16 May 2013, 11:32
Sydney - Two children found alone on a remote Australian beach were under the care of authorities on Thursday after their mother washed up dead and their father was missing in a snorkelling trip gone tragically wrong.
Police said a search was continuing for the 48-year-old man after the body of his 41-year-old partner was found near the idyllic West Australian (WA) holiday spot of Coral Bay on Wednesday.
Their children, a 13 year-old girl and a 10 year-old boy, were on the beach as the tragedy unfolded.
"The missing man has been in the water a long time and hopes of finding him fade with each passing hour," Senior Constable Barney Hutchison from the WA water police told reporters.
The West Australian newspaper said the alarm was raised by another beachgoer who set off a distress beacon to help direct emergency services to the isolated spot.
The couple were reportedly travelling around Australia with their two children when they went snorkelling at Elle's Beach, about 1 100km north of Perth.
Coral Bay is at the southern end of the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, one of few places on earth where you can come face-to-fin with the biggest fish in the ocean - the whale shark.