Lifeguard saves girls in trouble half a kilometre offshore
A LIFEGUARD has rescued two teenage girls who got into trouble far from shore on an unpatrolled beach at Ballina.
The girls, who had been holidaying at the Flat Rock Tent Park, were swimming at the southern end of Angels Beach about 2pm Tuesday when they got into difficulty about 300m offshore.
A camp chaperone phoned police, who in turn contacted the Australian Lifeguard Service member who was patrolling nearby Shelly Beach a kilometre away.
The lifeguard closed Shelly Beach and went to Angels Beach where he and a local bodyboarder swam out to rescue the girl closest to shore.
While a second lifeguard, from Lighthouse Beach, administered first aid, the Shelly Beach lifeguard then swam out 500m to rescue the second girl.
Both girls were taken to hospital for further assessment as they had swallowed significant amounts of water.
Northern NSW Lifeguard supervisor Scott McCartney praised the efforts of the lifeguard involved, but stressed it 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," he said.
"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 doesn't mean it will be that way in ten minutes."