An angler swept from the rocks at Boulders Beach yesterday afternoon is lucky to be alive after being rescued by volunteer surf lifesavers using an Angel Ring.
The Lismore man was washed fully clothed into the sea and managed to cling to a rocky outcrop for some time until help arrived.
The Surf Rescue Emergency Response system worked well, with far north coast duty Officer Garry Meredith arriving on the scene less than ten minutes later.
Garry used only an Angel Ring, which a member of the public had brought from the cliff face, and a rescue tube he had in his car.
He swam through rough seas to the stranded angler, who was clinging desperately to the rocks.
Lennox Head surf lifesavers also responded and launched a jetski to join the rescue effort.
While waves were breaking over their heads, Garry offered reassurance and calmed the man before using the Angel Ring to swim him back to shore.
Garry said the man was not wearing a lifejacket and was extremely lucky he was able to hang on to the rocks for as long as he did.
‘It was a good result for sure, it was very difficult to get across the water to get to him and he did the right thing by staying where he was until help arrived,’ he said.
‘Often people attempt to get themselves to shore or clamber back onto rocks, get hit by waves and hit their heads and can drown,’ said Garry added.
The man was taken to hospital suffering hypothermia and minor cuts and bruises.
Surf lifesavers remain on high alert and are warning swimmers, surfers and rock fishermen to exercise extreme caution as dangerous surf conditions are expected over the weekend.
Angel Rings have recently been installed at eight additional locations on the north coast, including Cape Byron, Broken Head and Kings Beach, after a three-year campaign to provide additional rescue facilities at unpatrolled beaches.