Hemant Govekar, 28, went missing while swimming off the coast of Phillip Island
The search for man who went missing off the coast of Phillip Island has taken a tragic turn as police uncovered human remains late on Tuesday afternoon.
Hemant Govekar, 28, was last spotted swimming in challenging conditions at Cape Woolami before disappearing from view just after 5.30pm on Sunday.
Witnesses reported that the Indian-born man slipped under water before he could be rescued from the ‘dangerous surf zone’ near the island, which is a popular day trip from Melbourne.
Police believe that Mr Govekar decided to stop for a swim on the way to the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Park, where he had planned to meet his sister and brother-in-law later in the day.
Witnesses reported that the Indian-born man slipped under water at Cape Woolami on Sunday
The Age reported that there were no lifesavers on patrol on Sunday because the beach was closed due to ‘conditions deemed unsafe for inexperienced swimmers’.
‘We don’t think he’s got very good swimming ability and we had a couple of locals on surfboards try to rescue this male, but the conditions were even too dangerous for them,’ Victoria Police Sergeant Bruce Kent told ABC.
‘I would not be swimming and I’m a local,’ he continued. ‘And of course we have the local people who tried to rescue this gentleman and were not successful. You could imagine how they would be feeling today.’
Mr Govekar had decided to stop for a swim on the way to the Penguin Parade on Sunday night
Sergeant Kent added that people often walk right into the middle of dangerous rips that aren’t noticeable from the shore because the water is flat and calm.
The beach was closed as emergency crews resumed their search for the man on Tuesday morning, and discovered human remains in the water later in the day.
Mr Govekar’s distraught family are currently trying to obtain visas so that they can come to Australia in the aftermath of his tragic disappearance.
Helicopters scour the coast of Philip Island (left) in the search for Hemant Govekar, 28 (right)
Hemant Govekar’s distraught family are currently trying to obtain visas to come to Australia
The tragedy comes as a 22-year-old man died at a NSW beach near the Queensland border on Christmas Day and a Victorian father died at a Great Ocean Road beach last week.
Life Saving Victoria issued a plea to beachgoers to swim between the red and yellow flags over the summer and say extra lifeguards will be on patrol through to New Years.
Lifesavers patrol 57 locations on weekends over summer and during the peak period lifeguards are employed to patrol on weekdays and at additional locations.