Were surfers, kite boarder guilty of the bystander effect?

WITNESSES to the drowning of a man at Tweed Heads on Christmas Day have come under fire for doing nothing while rescuers desperately tried to save him and six others.

Surfers and a kite boarder who allegedly almost ran over one of the rescuers have copped a furious spray on social media.

"To all those surfers yesterday at D'bah (Duranbah Beach) who watched two lifeguards, me and my family save six people and one drowned, F*** YOU,” two of the rescuers wrote on their Instagram page on Boxing Day.

"If you see someone in trouble you HELP THEM and that kite boarder who nearly ran me over twice when I had an unconscious man in my arms you can get f***ed.

Having never been in an emergency situation like that, it is hard to know how I would respond. I would like to think I would do everything humanly possible to help.

Back in 1964, Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of multiple witnesses who all stood around and apparently did nothing to help, despite the attack lasting 30 minutes.

This prompted much debate and has been cited as an early example of the "bystander effect”.

The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present.

The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.

Though what happened that day in New York has since been debunked to some extent, the behaviour of some humans, sometimes, remains unfathomable.

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