Eric Fleming
Eric Fleming Tweed Daily News

Men survive jet ski drama

THREE men battled dangerous surf to swim to shore after their jet ski broke down off Point Danger yesterday.

Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) radio operator Eric Fleming said the men were riding the jet ski about 8am (DST) when its engine died.

“They went out through the bar and across to the point when the engine failed,” Mr Fleming said.

“They would have been about 50m off the rocks.

“It looked as if they were drifting, which got our attention, and we had to initiate the surf lifesavers into action.”

Mr Fleming said the trio abandoned the jet ski and managed to swim to Froggy's Beach before being rescued, but all three were unhurt.

They also managed to retrieve the jet ski before it crashed onto rocks.

Yesterday's treacherous conditions were brought on by Cyclone Hamish, which was still lingering off the Queensland coast.

All northern NSW beaches were closed, except for Byron Bay.

Strong winds whipped up large waves, dangerous surf and abnormally high tides along the coastline.

The VMR yesterday warned boat operators not to try and cross the bar.

“We've had a lot of jet skis trying to go out in this weather, which we would suggest is not a good idea,” Mr Fleming said.

“Even private boat operators are advised not to try and cross the bar.

“The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting the cyclone will come back towards the coast before heading back north, but cyclones are pretty unpredictable.”

Swells off the point were recorded up to 6.5m about 9.30am.

“Duranbah (Beach) is like a washing machine out there,” Mr Fleming said. “Snapper (Rocks) would be the same.”

The BoM is predicting more rain today.

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