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A young woman is recovering in hospital this afternoon after being pulled from a powerful rip current near Lake Cathie on the state’s Mid North Coast.

The 23-year-old local was swimming with two friends at Middle Rock Beach near a popular surfing spot when the group got pulled into the middle of a rip current at around 1:30pm on Tuesday.  

Fortunately her two friends were able to reach the distressed woman quickly and despite being pulled 50 metres out to sea had the strength to get her back to the safety of the shore.

Emergency services were quickly tasked to the scene with lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service stationed at Lake Cathie the first to arrive.

The woman was unconscious and was having difficulty breathing so the lifeguards immediately placed her in the recovery position and performed initial first aid treatment until the paramedics arrived.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the lifeguards on duty Dane and Hunter who by all reports did a fantastic job and reacted exactly the way they have been trained,” said senior Port Macquarie ALS Lifeguard Blake Polverino.

“Fortunately the circumstances were in the young woman’s favour today with her friends alert enough to be able to pull her out of the water, the lifeguards a short drive away, and the professional response of the paramedics and police all contributing to the successful outcome.

“What this near-drowning does reinforce is the importance of swimming at a patrolled location where lifeguards or surf lifesavers are on duty. It is a timely reminder especially with a few days of the school holidays remaining and the ever-increasing popularity of our region’s beaches,” Mr Polverino said.

There was a medium swell at the time of the incident with the good visibility and relatively warm water temperature certainly enticing people to swim

The young woman was later transported to hospital for further treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Beach Safety Tips

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website 

  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information

  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water

  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm

  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police

  • Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated

  •  For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

Tuesday 9 Ocotber 2018