Surfer Pulled From Water Near Byron Bay

A surfer is in a critical condition after being pulled unconscious from the water near Byron Bay.

The incident was reported to the SLSNSW State Operations Centre at around 11.45 AEST on Wednesday in the stretch of water between Suffolk Beach and Broken Head.

A man believed to be aged in his 50s was rescued by a group of surfers who pulled him ashore where they performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

The Northern Region Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked by police to attend the scene. Once there they worked alongside paramedics to help stabilise the man before airlifting him to hospital.

It is not clear how the man lost consciousness.

Today’s incident is the third involving a body boarder or surfer in the vicinity over the last 48 hours, which included a teenager having to be winched from the rocks at Cape Byron on Tuesday afternoon.

Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager Adam Weir is imploring all locals to be mindful of the conditions before heading out on the water.

“Even though conditions have eased overnight, people need to be aware of rip currents which are still present and gutters which may have formed during large swells,” Mr Weir said.

“If you do get into difficulty it is important not to panic. We urge people to be conscious of their own ability and assess the conditions as they can change quite suddenly.”

General Beach Safety Tips:

• Swim between the flags
• Always swim at patrolled beaches
• Swim between the red and yellow flags. They mark the safer area for swimming
• Never swim, surf or fish alone
• Read and obey the signs
• Be aware of rip currents (know how to spot one and how to escape from one)
• Don't swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Never run or dive in the water, even if you have checked before as water conditions can change
• If in doubt stay out
• Seek advice from the lifesavers and lifeguards

Byron Bay’s Main Beach, which is staffed by Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service, is the currently the only patrolled beach on the Far North Coast.

Wed 15 Jul 2015