A PORT Campbell lifesaver who survived Easter Sunday's tragic drownings will undergo surgery today.
Phillip Younis, who was instrumental is establishing the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club, is in a stable condition at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.
Life Saving Victoria chief executive officer Nigel Taylor said the community was devastated.
"As you would expect it's very raw - it's a very tight-knit community here in Port Campbell," Mr Taylor said.
"Both Phillip Younis and Ross Powell in particular were stalwarts of the club and the people really responsible for setting up the service in the first place so it's just a complete tragedy."
Mr Taylor said Mr Younis' brother Paul was by his side as he prepares to undergo surgery.
"He's in hospital in Melbourne at the moment and I understand they're operating on him today," he said.
"He's got some quite serious complications."
Mr Taylor said there would be a formal police and coronial investigation into the incident and Life Saving Victoria would also conduct its own.
He said there were a number of extremely dangerous beaches in the area.
"I can completely understand why this is called the Shipwreck Coast," Mr Taylor said.
He said in addition to big swells, the waves were sporadic and often caught people off guard.
"A lot of the beaches here have a large shorebreak if they don't have a shorebreak there's usually a rock face," Mr Taylor said.
"They're all unstable and you need to make sure you stand well back
"If you're thinking of entering the water you need to make sure you really do have the capability to look after yourself in those circumstances."
Corangamite Shire mayor Neil Trotter said the community had lost a generous man and he had lost his best mate.
"I'm a bit shell shocked, Ross was my best mate, " he said.
"We used to holiday together and I've watched the whole family grow up."
Cr Trotter said the family was celebrating the fact Andy, the youngest of five siblings, was about to take over the family farm.
"Andy was the youngest and he and his father were like peas in a pod - it was like Ross and his shadow," he said.
Cr Trotter said the family was devastated and had asked for privacy following the tragedy.
He said the incident occurred at a very dangerous beach, which had warning signs.
"I've lived here my whole life and I've never swam there for that reason."
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