Gippsland mourns student who drowned trying to rescue her brother

Holly Nicholson

The town of Wonthaggi is in mourning following the death of a thirteen year old girl who drowned trying to save her brother. 

Holly Nicholson’s 11 year old brother was swimming at Willamson’s beach in Dalyston after 8:00pm on Thursday, when he began to struggle in rough water.

Ms Nicholson’s brother was saved and miraculously received only minor injuries.

However, Holly also got into trouble.

Despite efforts from her family and emergency services, she could not be revived.

Principal of Wonthaggi Secondary College, Garry Dennis, said the loss was extremely upsetting for the school community.

“Holly was such a gentle and caring student, we’re all feeling the loss today and our thoughts are with her family,” he said.

“She endeared herself quietly to all those around her, students and staff, the huge impact she had in our school is being reflected in response to the news that we’ve had here today.

“The school will do all it can to support family and friends.”

Mr Dennis said he had spoken to Holly’s closest friends at the school, who said the 13-year-old had been “an amazing friend”.

Friends close to Holly say she was “always helping others, kind, loving and always found a way to make everyone else feel good.”

“She would light up anyone’s day with her smile … we will miss Holly”, Wonthaggi College students said.

Bass Coast Mayor Jordan Crugnale said the incident was shocking for the community.

“We’re here to support the community and the family and all their friends and we’re here to support the community and the families and the schools in whatever way we can,” she said.


A fundraising campaign has been created on GO fund me to support Holly’s family in paying for funeral expenses.

Currently, $4,045 has been raised, $955 off the $5,000 mark.

You can donate via the following link,





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