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A man has been extricated from a rocky outcrop off the headland at Trial Bay on the state’s Mid North Coast after Surf Life Saving assets from the closest club, South West Rocks SLSC, were called to a man in distress.

About 2.40pm on Tuesday 1 February, the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre and local lifeguards were made aware of a situation developing near the Mermaid Pools at Trial Bay where a person had been swept off the rocks.

It came after approximately half an hour earlier, assets were called to a similar situation off nearby Horseshoe Bay, but the person in trouble managed to get themselves back to shore and all assets were stood down.

When IRBs arrived on scene at Trial Bay, however, they found a male stranded on the rocky outcrop and a second male on the headland being assessed by ambulance for head injuries.

“He was in a really precarious position, with waves breaking over the top of him,” Duty Officer, Tony Silvia recalled.

“He couldn’t speak any English, neither of them could, so we had no idea if they could swim.

“I advised the IRB crew to hold back while we assessed the conditions. We had been told that the (Westpac Life Saver Rescue) Helicopter was on its way and at that time it was about 20 minutes away.

“The tide was falling, and the sea was large, so we decided not to try and effect a rescue and allow the helicopter to winch him out.

“It was a risk-based approach that took into account the situation. I had my daughter with me who is a lifeguard, and she was checking the surf. It was just too risky.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision. We just monitored the person and then when the helicopter arrived, they winched him out and transferred him to an ambulance at a nearby park.”

The rescued male sustained only minor injuries.

Wednesday 2 February 2022