A fund has been established to assist three surviving children following the tragic drowning of their parents at South Ballina yesterday.

About 7pm, the family of five from Orangeville, Sydney, who were holidaying at a local caravan park, went to the beach at South Ballina for a swim.

Police have been told the mother, 44-year-old Carole Sherry, got into difficulties in the water while swimming and her 42-year-old husband, Joseph Sherry, entered the water in an attempt to rescue her.

It is believed the couple got into difficulties in a strong rip and were unable to make it to shore.

The couple are survived by their three children – two girls aged 17 and 14, and a nine-year-old boy. They are now in the care of relatives.

The Sherry Family Memorial Fund has been established by Lismore police with the assistance of the Hannah Foundation for drowning prevention and awareness, to assist the children.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can be made directly online to the ‘Sherry Orphan Family Appeal’ at www.hannahsfoundation.org.au

They can also be made at any Westpac Bank branch, QPCU – Hannah’s Foundation reference ‘Sherry Orphan Family Appeal’ BSB 034002 account number 333453.

The family has requested that members of the media respect their privacy during this difficult period.