Alert: Cabarita Beach lifesavers John Harbison (left) and Joel Clark.
Alert: Cabarita Beach lifesavers John Harbison (left) and Joel Clark. Blainey Woodham

Lucky escape for Brisbane boys

HUGE swells caught beachgoers by surprise at the weekend, keeping lifeguards along the Tweed coast on their toes.

Two boys from Brisbane were swept out at Hastings Point on Saturday morning in swells estimated at more than two metres.

Northern NSW lifeguard co-ordinator Scott McCartney said the two boys were brought to shore safely by a lifeguard on a board.

“They were very appreciative. They knew there was no chance they were getting back in without help,” he said.

Mr McCartney said the high number of rescues was due to a combination of causes.

“The rain has finally stopped so the sun is bringing people out to the beach, but at the worst time,” Mr McCartney said.

“All weekend we had really big swells, plus we have a large number of holidaymakers who can be unfamiliar with the changing beach conditions.

“Nearly every beach had at least one rescue, either major or minor.”

Lifeguards across the coast have begun taking preventative measures when it becomes clear the ocean will be too rough.

“We always urge people to swim between the flags, and when it's really rough we'll send a guard out on a board to make sure people are swimming nice and close to shore and don't go beyond waist depth,” Mr McCartney said.

“The majority of rescues happen just outside the flags, so we really encourage people to walk the extra 100m to be safe.

“We also want people to use the new BeachSafe iPhone application to see what beaches will be the safest.

“If the beach is closed, ask a lifeguard for the closest safe beach.”

Conditions are expected to improve this week, with swell dropping off, making a visit to the beach safer.



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