LUCKY FIND: Chris Gort, of Mullumbimby, found Michael Williams on New Brighton Beach after Michael swam for more than 10 hours
LUCKY FIND: Chris Gort, of Mullumbimby, found Michael Williams on New Brighton Beach after Michael swam for more than 10 hours

Sunburnt and delirious, but safe"

By EMMA O'NEILL emma.oneill@northernstar.com.au

CHRIS GORT, of Mullumbimby, met a man on Wednesday he'll probably end up talking about for a long time.

Chris was taking his blue heeler for a walk along New Brighton Beach about 4pm when he came across Michael Williams.

Michael had an extraordinary story to tell him. "I've been in the ocean since 3am." He had just reached land after swimming for more than 10 hours.

"You wouldn't even know he had been through all that, he just looked like a surfer who had a few cuts," Chris said. "He was really sunburnt and a bit delirious.

"He wasn't talking much and all he really said to me was he had been in the ocean since 3am."

Chris said Michael was sitting on the sand and wearing just boardshorts when he spotted him.

"He was sitting on the sand. A woman had also come up to him," he said.

"It was obvious something was wrong, so I asked them if they needed help and the lady asked me to call an ambulance."

Luckily Chris had his mobile phone with him. He told them there was a 'bloke in trouble' on the beach, but even as he was relaying information he couldn't believe the story.

"He had done well to swim that far, it was quite an effort," Chris said.

When the ambulance arrived, Chris said he directed the crew toward Michael and continued on his walk with his trusty dog Pip.

He said the last thing he had expected to find on his walk was a man who had been through the ultimate survival test and, as he later found out, by doing so had saved the life of at least one of his crewmates at sea.



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