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After four Christmas coastal drownings nationally and five in NSW alone last week, a successful rescue by lifesavers and lifeguards on the Central Coast made it a great Christmas Day for two men from Sydney’s inner west.

Keelan Bridge and Jacob Evans from the Australian Lifeguard Service were about to pack up patrols at Frazer Park in the Munmorah State reserve when the call came that two men were trapped in the infamous Snapper Point rock caves.

While it had been a fairly uneventful Christmas Day patrol at the popular holiday spot, all that was about to change.

Leaving Keelan on duty, Jacob launched the jetski and arrived at Snapper Point to find two rock fishermen stranded inside the cave. The men were distressed but unhurt so he landed back at Frazer Park, closed the beach for the day and both Jacob and Keelan returned to the cave on the jetski. They were met at the rescue site by a lifesaver from Caves Beach on a second jetski.

It was decided the very experienced lifeguards would perform the rescue as the jetski needed to be driven inside the cave as the two men had almost no swimming skills. The conditions were described by Keelan as being very challenging but the lifeguards are experienced with the area and have performed numerous rescues along the notorious stretch of coastline.

“It was pretty tricky conditions, the surf was up, around 4-foot and there was a lot of water moving around and surging against the rocks.

“We drove into the cave and managed to coax the men out onto the sled. We were able to get them out one at a time and transferred them to the other ski and they were taken back to Frazer Park.”

Waiting paramedics assessed the men who were shaken but unharmed.

The Snapper Point location has been the scene of several serious rescue efforts over the last six months, all of them successful, which is a testament to the skills and training of both the Australian Lifeguard Service and lifesavers from the Central Coast Support Operations team.

It also highlights the versatility and showcases the effectiveness of the jetski as a rescue tool in open ocean and around rocks. The capability of Surf Life Saving was enhanced only last week with the announcement by the Premier of an upgrade to the Surf Rescue jetski fleet with an additional 11 vessels to rollout across NSW this summer.