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A social gathering of veteran Cape Hawke lifesavers enjoying the first morning of summer proved to be extremely fortunate for one swimmer on Friday.

The group were at One Mile Beach, Forster having a coffee when they noticed a woman getting into difficulty in a powerful rip current at around 7:30am.

It is understood that the woman in her 50s was visiting the area from Sydney.

Garry Curtis was the first to react grabbing a rescue board and paddling out to the swimmer.

The Cape Hawke club president waited with the swimmer to reassure her while an IRB was launched by Mal Flew to help effect the rescue.

Once back on shore the lifesavers administered oxygen to the exhausted woman.

An ambulance and Lower North Coast Duty Officer were both tasked to attend the scene.

Paramedics performed a health check on the woman and fortunately despite the stresses of her ordeal she was found to have escaped unharmed and did not require hospitalisation.

While it wasn’t the relaxing start to summer the lifesavers involved had anticipated, their professionalism and quick thinking prevented a serious incident.

Tips On How To Spot A Rip Current

Some signs include;

Deeper, dark-coloured water

Fewer breaking waves

A rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters

Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves

Rips don’t always show all of these signs at once.

Rip Current Survival Tips

Relax – stay calm and float to conserve your energy

Raise – raise your arm and attract attention from lifeguards or lifesavers

Rescue – the lifeguards or lifesavers will be on their way to help you

While floating, rip currents may flow in a circular pattern and return you to an adjacent sandbar

You may escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves

Reassess your situation. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try one of the other options until you’re rescued or return to shore


Friday 1 December 2017