Rock Fisherman Rescued Near Byron Bay

An angler swept from the rocks today at Boulders Beach is alive after being rescued by volunteer surf lifesavers.

The Lismore man was fishing when he was washed fully-clothed into the sea this afternoon and managed to cling to a rocky outcrop for some time until help arrived.

The Surf Rescue Emergency Response system responded and tasked Far North Coast Duty Officer, Garry Meredith, who was on scene less than 10 minutes later. Using just an angel ring which members of the public had retrieved from the cliff face and a rescue tube he had in his car, Gary swam out 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 Meredith 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. 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 Meredith.

It was a true Surf Life Saving rescue effort as the paramedic attending the scene is an ex-lifeguard and current member of Byron Bay SLSC.

The man was taken to hospital suffering hypothermia and minor cuts and bruises.

After today's emergency, surf lifesavers are on high alert and are warning swimmers, surfers and rock fishermen to exercise extreme caution as dangerous surf conditions are expected over the weekend.

Wed 16 Jul 2014