7 January 2015 Rescue was Close Call

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7 January 2015 Rescue was Close Call

Two swimmers who were rescued from a strong rip at Park Beach yesterday had a very close call say Lifeguards.


The couple from Armidale both needed oxygen treatment at the beach and were later taken to hospital after being rescued by Lifeguards and a member of the public.


“If we had missed seeing them being caught up in the rip – which was a good kilometre from the Tower - I believe we would’ve had two fatalities,” said Greg Hackfath, Council’s Lifeguard Service Coordinator, who was involved in the rescue.


The couple were spotted by Lifeguards walking into a strong rip in front of the Hoey Moey. It became clear almost immediately that they were in distress. When Lifeguards got to the scene members of the public were already swimming out to help. One board rider was sent back to the beach while Greg Hackfath and a swimmer who had reached the male person began the rescue.


“Both the initial rescuer and myself got to them at about the same time and quickly got them onto a sand bank,” said Greg.


“The man was in a very bad way, and the initial rescuer was struggling with him, so I handed him the woman and the board and asked him to take her to shore which he did. In the meantime I brought the man to shore.”


Unfortunately, the swimmer whose help was instrumental in the success of the rescue left before Lifeguards found out his name.


Both patients required oxygen therapy for about half an hour before an ambulance took them both to hospital. The man was still in a serious condition and appeared to have ingested/inhaled a significant amount of water, while his female companion was in shock.


“This incident is a very timely reminder of the number one golden rule - always swim between the red and yellow flag on patrolled beaches. No flags = No swim,” said Greg.


To find out about patrolled beaches or to get daily beach conditions, go to @chcclifeguards on Twitter or www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/beachpatrols