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For the second time in a fortnight, off-duty surf lifesavers have rescued a stranded caver after they were called to attend an incident at Snapper Point in the Lake Munmorah Conservation Area on Wednesday afternoon.

It is understood that the young man was with a group of friends exploring the cave systems and rock platforms on the Central Coast beach when he was caught out by the rising tide just after 3pm.

A call to emergency services prompted the start of a multi-agency rescue operation that included paramedics, police and a number of local lifesaving assets.

Jet Ski Operators With The Man They Rescued
Surf lifesavers and Jet Ski operators Paul Dowdell and David Smith are pictured with the man they rescued.

Two Duty Officers, the Central Coast Support Operations Jet Ski, and members from the local Aquatic Rescue Team all raced to the scene.

The young man faced an uncomfortable hour or so as he contemplated the reality that there was no way for him to exit the cave without assistance.

Prudently he had decided to wear a lifejacket for his adventures, which proved to be useful tool in his subsequent rescue.

Just after 4:30pm, conditions had subsided enough for the lifesavers to make their move.

The Jet Ski, and its attached sled was able to get close enough to the entrance of the cave to drop off one of the crew who swam inside with a rescue tube.

After a brief swim the man was transported back to shore on the Jet Ski where he was assessed by paramedics, and given a clean bill of health.

Yesterday’s incident occurred just under 10 kilometres south of Caves Beach where a man was rescued by lifesavers after becoming trapped in a cave on Sunday 27 May, again as a result of a turning tide.

The two rescues have prompted surf lifesavers to reiterate the importance of being aware of your surroundings when exploring the coastal environment.

“There are plenty of hidden gems up and down the NSW Coast, but it’s crucial that people are aware of the tidal times, weather, and escape route as these incident have highlighted,” said Duty Operations Coordinator Andrew Ugarte.

“Fortunately we have our dedicated volunteers who are willing and able to respond to coastal emergencies even in the offseason,” he said.

General 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

Thursday 7 June 2018