6 beach emergencies in 5 days on North Coast
LIFESAVERS were under the pump with six after-hour emergency calls up and down the coast in the days surrounding the weekend.
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast director, Chris Samuels, said three of them were within one hour yesterday afternoon.
"We had a report of a missing person off Cabarita headland, reports of a person in difficulty (at) Fingal headland, and a person fell off the rock pools at Yamba,” he said.
Mr Samuels said there were lifesavers and lifeguards strategically located up and down the coast, but resources did become stretched.
"The Cabarita one, you had multiple assets already tasked there ... it did stretch resources a bit when that other incident popped up at Fingal,” he said.
He said conditions over the weekend made for an extra challenge.
"They started off quite rough, seas were windy, swell was up ... the hot weather still attracted people down to the beach,” Mr Samuels said.
"It did make things quite difficult for us to respond.”
He said the conditions were choppy around the time a swimmer reportedly went missing on the south side of the Cabarita headland yesterday.
"The conditions on the south side of the headland were quite bad, there was quite a lot of wind chop on the water and the current was fairly strong.
"On the north side of the headland though its protected from that wind, so the conditions were nicer.”
Mr Samuels reminded water users about beach safety over the holiday period.
The volunteer lifesavers and the paid lifeguards were kept quite busy on the patrol hours over those few days as well,” he explained.
"Just with the beach attendance, we conducted several rescues and first aid cases throughout the coastline.”
He urged water users to always swim between the flags and check in with surf lifesavers with any questions or concerns.