News

Engineer rescues tourists from Broken Head surf

LUCKY: Chris Appelkamp (right) rescued this unnamed English tourist (centre) and a friend from a rip at Broken Head on Saturday. Another tourist (left) struggled, but made it to shore.
LUCKY: Chris Appelkamp (right) rescued this unnamed English tourist (centre) and a friend from a rip at Broken Head on Saturday. Another tourist (left) struggled, but made it to shore.

TWO English tourists may have drowned if it wasn't for holidaying geotechnical engineer Chris Appelkamp.

Mr Appelkamp, of Wollongong, rescued the two swimmers at Broken Head on Saturday about 4pm after they were caught in a rip at an unpatrolled beach.

He was attending a family baby shower when the tourists ran into trouble.

"All of the guys went for a swim, everyone got out, but I stayed in to catch a few waves and body surf," the 31-year-old said.

"Three English guys were out there, one with a bodyboard, and they didn't look very confident."

About 50m offshore, the sand dropped off suddenly, leaving the surprised tourists trapped in a powerful rip and unable to stand.

"They were just bobbing around one minute, then one of the guys without a board screamed for help," Mr Appelkamp said.

"I thought they were taking the piss, so I yelled 'are you serious?' and they kept going."

Realising the severity of the situation, Mr Appelkamp, a strong swimmer and surfer, made his way to the men.

"One guy was going under water and he was definitely fading," he said.

"He couldn't touch the bottom so just kept getting swept along with the rip.

"I used the board and started pushing him in and his shorts came down.

"I didn't want to body surf in his cheeks, so I changed position and got him in.

"Then his mate started screaming too, so I went and got the other guy and got him in, with the third guy coming along trying to help."

Despite swallowing some water and suffering exhaustion, both tourists were uninjured.

"The whole time I was calm," Mr Appelkamp said.

"I didn't think it was a big deal, but everyone else on the beach seemed to.

"Now I think about it, these guys would've been gone without someone there."

Topics:  broken head drowning outdoor-living surf safety



Ballina 'uninhabitable' in latest sea level rise scenario

INUNDATION THREAT: Areas in dark blue show the impact of a 0.74m seal level rise, while areas in light blue show a 2m rise.

Ballina, Byron Bay and more coastal towns to go underwater

Bring the Ski Jump to Lismore, says MP

CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.

Page MP and Lismore mayor would welcome the Ski Jump in Lismore.

Climbing for Lismore flood fundraiser

The 2017 Lismore Flood

SCU student to climb Mont Blanc for Lismore.

Local Partners

Bring the Ski Jump to Lismore, says MP

PAGE MP and Lismore mayor say if Lennox Head doesn't want the proposed Ski Jump, then bring it to Lismore.


First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Stories Troy Cassar-Daley carries around

LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

You can see him in Ballina this weekend

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Nattali Rize at the top of the charts

ARTIST: Australian reggae artist Nattali Rize has Native American and Samoan roots and lives between Byron Bay, Cairns and Jamaica.

Her debut album hit the top at the Global Reggae Charts

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!