A man and a woman in their 30s who went on an early morning kayak trip to Julian Rocks on Sunday are counting their lucky stars after spending 90 minutes in the water without lifejackets when it capsized.
The event could have ended in disaster had it not been for the intervention of surf lifesavers who carried out a dramatic rescue effort.
The couple were part of a group of kayakers departing from The Pass for the short paddle early Sunday.
When the kayak capsized after taking on water, a second nearby kayak went to their aid but despite multiple attempts the group were unable to right it due to the huge volume of water inside.
The second group then paddled to shore to raise the alarm initially with Marine Rescue NSW at around 10:45am.
Lifesavers from Byron Bay SLSC and the Far North Coast Support Operations jet ski sighted the stranded man and woman about four kilometres from shore.
Both plucked from the water while their kayak, which was almost submerged by this point, was towed back to Main Beach.
Despite being in water for about 90 minutes, drifting with their kayak and suffering fatigue, the couple were none the worse for their ideal.
Neither of the kayakers were wearing lifejackets at the time.
NSW State Duty Officer Jimmy Keogh said the incident was a timely reminder about the importance of wearing lifejackets.
‘I would like to acknowledge the quick response from the IRB crew at Byron Bay who were able to get on-scene within ten minutes of the report coming it.
‘The two kayakers were extremely fortunate as this incident could easily have escalated had the conditions worsened.
‘It reinforces just how crucial lifejackets are regardless of the type of water activity you’re participating it,’ Mr Keogh said.