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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Surf life savers kept busy over weekend

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James Beard, patrol captain Susan McCaughtrie and Matt O’har from the Brunswick Heads Surf Live Saving Club. Photo Ella Bradbury
James Beard, patrol captain Susan McCaughtrie and Matt O’har from the Brunswick Heads Surf Live Saving Club. Photo Ella Bradbury

Big waves and rough seas saw fourteen people get into trouble at Brunswick Heads over Christmas Eve, and thanks to the efforts of the local Surf Life Savers, they all were rescued.

One young Swedish woman in her early 20s became panic stricken with big waves taking her under as life savers arrived to help.

‘I could see the fear in her eyes as I pulled her and her two male companions on board the rescue boat,’ rescuer Graham Corley said.

Another unidentified 22-year-old Brunswick Heads man also got into trouble and was sucked out to sea. He tried swimming out of the rip but it was too strong.

‘I was being sucked further out to sea and tried not to panic, but the waves kept crashing over my head and I was running out of breath,’ he said.

‘I felt foolish, but I quickly realised I had no choice but to put up my hand and signal for help. I was getting very weak.’

Before he knew it, a life saver on a board came to his rescue and shot on the whitewater towards shore. ‘I’m sure glad they were there to come to my rescue,’ he said.

Life saver Adrian Russell, who has served the Brunswick community on the beach for many years, warned of an unusually high tide running out to sea throughout the coming week till late afternoon each day.

‘That is what is causing a fast outward flow of water to the deeper ocean and the rip,’ Adrian said.

‘It is an unusually dangerous situation until the low tide kicks in, but that won’t be till later in the afternoon,’ he said. ‘We keep telling swimmers that’s why we want them to stay between the flags.’

‘They’re put there for a reason. The Swedish swimmers who got into trouble did not swim between the flags.’

• Brunswick SLSC welcomes new members, young or old. Contact the club via www.brunswickslsc.org or call 6685 1273 for more information.

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