Two teenagers swimming at an unpatrolled beach on the Far North Coast have avoided serious injury after they were rescued by a nearby lifeguard on Tuesday.
The girls who had been holidaying at a nearby camp were swimming at the Southern End of Angels Beach, Ballina at around 2pm when they got into difficulty approximately 300 metres off-shore.
A camp chaperone spotted the danger and alerted police who then alerted the lone Australian Lifeguard Service member who was patrolling Shelly Beach which was approximately one kilometre around the headland.
The Lifeguard temporarily closed down Shelly Beach and took a rescue tube to the scene where he then swam out and was able to rescue the girl closest to shore with the assistance of a local body boarder.
He then paddled out approximately 500 metres off-shore to rescue the second girl. A second lifeguard from nearby Lighthouse Beach also attended where he commenced initial first-aid.
Both girls were later transported to hospital for further assessment as they had swallowed significant amounts of water during their ordeal.
Northern NSW Lifeguard Supervisor Scott McCartney praised the efforts of the lifeguard involved, but stressed the incident was a timely reminder of the importance of swimming at a patrolled location.
“Fortunately today’s rescue had a positive outcome thanks to the fact that the people on the shore were alert to the danger, but at an unpatrolled beach this isn’t always the case.
“On days such as today when dangerous surf warnings have been issued it is important that people are aware that the warnings are in place and ensure they only swim at patrolled locations.
“We urge everyone to be aware of their limitations, and if they have any doubt whatsoever it is better not to go out. The ocean environment can change extremely quickly and just because it looks flat now it doesn’t mean it will be that way in ten minutes,” Mr McCartney concluded.