Trio survive surf scare
"THEY were goners" was the blunt assessment of Peter Sheahan who, with the help of six other Cudgen Surf Life Saving Club members, rescued a mother and her two children from the treacherous surf at South Kingscliff beach on Saturday.
Mr Sheahan was training with other club members in the sandhills at South Kingscliff when they saw the trio struggling to get back to shore.
"They were caught in a rip and it was just pure luck we were there," he said.
"The mother went out to help her two children who had gotten into trouble in the surf and was caught in the rip as well."
Mr Sheahan said while they were rescuing the family another club member ran to notify Salt SLSC patrol.
"It was about two kilometres north of Salt and the area is renowned for rips and strong currents. I just wish people would use their commonsense and swim in flagged areas," Mr Sheahan said.
"When we got them in the kids were frantic and crying and the mother was in shock ... they were all examined by ambulance officers and are lucky to be alive."
Mrs Quinlan, a Cudgen SLSC member who was also at the rescue, said the boys had been playing at the waters edge when they were swept out.
"It's just so easy to end up caught in a rip. Surf education is vital for everyone," she said.
Mr Sheahan, a 10-year member of the Cudgen SLSC, said as a surf lifesaver it was frustrating to see people still ignore the dangers of swimming in unpatrolled areas.
"It could have been a tragedy if we had not been training nearby."