Tributes flow for young vet

Grant TaylorGreat Southern Herald

Colleagues of a young vet, who recently moved away from Katanning, have paid tribute to her after she drowned off Geraldton’s Town beach at the weekend.

Laura Sabine, 36, was found floating facedown in calm waters about 40m from shore on Saturday afternoon and, despite desperate attempts to revive her, was pronounced dead in hospital.

How she got into trouble is not yet clear, but police are investigating whether alcohol may have been a factor in the tragedy.

Dr Sabine was originally from Adelaide and had recently moved to Geraldton with her partner as part of an extended working holiday.

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Colleagues at the Midwest Vet Centre posted a tribute on Facebook yesterday, asking customers to keep Dr Sabine and her family in their prayers.

“Taken too soon, Laura devoted her career to the love and golden care for all fur babies great and small,” the post said.

“She was a kind and caring friend, daughter, partner, colleague and doctor to many and will be missed dearly.

“Each of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss her family suffers.”

Dr Sabine was pulled from the water by three friends who had been riding a jetski.

Rohan McRae, 20, said they had seen a group of girls standing on a pontoon waving at them and pointing at something in the water that they soon realised was a woman’s body.

“So me and a mate jumped in the water and turned her over and I could tell straight away that she was pretty much gone,” Mr McRae said.

“We hung on to her and dragged her through the water with the jetski and when we got to the beach I put her in the recovery position ... and started doing CPR.

“I was pretty shocked ... but I had done first-aid training through work and knew what to do.”

Mr McRae said others soon joined them on the beach including an off-duty nurse who assisted with CPR until paramedics arrived and took Dr Sabine to Geraldton Regional Hospital where she was placed on life support.

She was transferred by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Perth.

The woman’s drowning was one of two incidents on Saturday at the same beach less than an hour apart.

A group of teenage boys pulled a distressed man from the water.

He did not require hospital treatment.

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