Huge swells combined with big tides forced the closure of most Coffs Coast beaches.
Huge swells combined with big tides forced the closure of most Coffs Coast beaches. Rob Wright

Backpacker still in hospital

A GERMAN backpacker remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital today after nearly drowning at Diggers Beach.

The man, believed to be aged about 70, is being treated in the Coffs Harbour Health Campus critical care unit.

He was in a critical condition when he was first seen by doctors at the hospital late on Friday.

Coffs Harbour City Council lifeguard co-ordinator Greg Hackfath said surfboard riders noticed the man lying face down in the water about 400 metres north of the flagged area at Diggers about 1pm on Friday.

They dragged him to shore and resuscitation was immediately commenced.

Ambulance officers who were called to the beach took over and continued CPR as the man was conveyed to the health campus.

He was reported to be breathing and conscious when the ambulance left Diggers Beach.

Huge swells combined with big tides forced the closure of most Coffs Coast beaches today, with council lifeguards urging people to stay well away from the water's edge and also to stay clear of creeks.

"We're having massive tides at the moment," Mr Hackfath said.

"There's also a lot of debris in the water."

The pumping surf conditions proved a hit with local boardriders, however.

In other news, paramedics were called to Moonee Beach at 11.43am following reports adults and children had been swept off rocks into the water.

However, rescuers arrived to discover no apparent injuries.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was initially tasked from Lismore to the scene but was subsequently called off when everyone was out of the water.

 



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