Korean tourist nearly drowns

THE near-drowning of an international tourist on Saturday only two weeks after the drowning of a Korean national at Ballina has prompted calls from surf lifesavers for beach-goers to exercise some common sense.

Just after 3pm on Saturday, two Korean tourists had to be rescued from the unpatrolled beach near The Wreck at Byron Bay.

The two men, who had gone for a swim, got into difficulties and screamed for help.

Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer Jimmy Keough said the men were rescued by members of the public and patrolling lifesavers.

"One male, a 30-year-old, was pulled from the water semi-conscious and had ingested a lot of water," Mr Keough said.

"Lifesavers administered oxygen until ambulance arrived.

"He was transported in a stable condition to Byron Bay Hospital."

The other swimmer was uninjured.

The near-drowning comes only a fortnight after the same agencies responded to the drowning of a Korean national at Ballina.

On January 21 a 35-year-old Korean man and his three friends were swimming at The Spit, near the Missingham Bridge.

The group got into difficulty and a local surf instructor managed to rescue three of the swimmers.

The 35-year-old Korean man was missing for about 45 minutes and could not be revived when emergency services pulled him from the water.

The spate of rescues involving international visitors has prompted a warning from frustrated surf lifesavers - swim between the flags.

"Tourists to the area need to exercise some common sense," MrKeough said.

"The flags are there for a reason; swim between them."

In a separate incident on the weekend a man had to be taken to hospital after jumping off a footbridge in Brunswick Heads.

On Saturday afternoon, the man jumped off the footbridge into the shallow river below, fracturing his leg.

Paramedics and surf lifesavers responded to the incident and the man was taken to Tweed Heads Hospital.

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