GOOD SAMARITAN: Soul Surf School owner Sean Riley of Suffolk Park had his wallet stolen from the beach at Byron Bay while he was rescuing two tourists.
GOOD SAMARITAN: Soul Surf School owner Sean Riley of Suffolk Park had his wallet stolen from the beach at Byron Bay while he was rescuing two tourists. Cathy Adams

Robbed as he saved two lives

HAVING his wallet stolen while saving the lives of two drowning Korean men at Byron Bay on Saturday afternoon has left a bitter taste in Sean Riley's mouth.

The well-known Soul Surf School owner said he was walking his dogs along Belongil Beach when he noticed the men struggling in the rough conditions.

"I saw a couple of Korean guys struggling out in the water and I threw my wallet, sunnies and shirt down on the beach at The Wreck and swam out to help the guys," he said.

"By the time I got back up on the beach a guy came down and said 'Well done, these are your sunnies, you left them up there' and about 10 minutes after that I realised my wallet was gone ."

Mr Riley said if he didn't jump in the surf to rescue the men, one of them may have drowned.

"One guy, when I got to him he was almost unconscious, his eyes had rolled back in his head."

"His friend was treading water but the other man was struggling and kept going under water."

Mr Riley said the two men said they were English language students on a day trip from the Gold Coast.

A lifesaver from Byron Bay Surf Club came to assist Mr Riley, bringing oxygen and medical supplies.

"We put him in the recovery position to get the water off his chest and he started throwing up water every-where."

"The guy who was in the least trouble said 'We are so grateful, I thought my friend was going to die'."

"Once I got them back in to the beach and he recovered he said he thought he was going to die."

Now Mr Riley said he has to take time out from work to replace the contents of his wallet.

"I was pretty disappointed, that's for sure... It's just one of those unfortunate things, I guess."

"There wasn't any cash but I was just more stuff like my licence, Medicare card all my credit cards and IDs, so I just cancelled them all straight away."

"It's just so frustrating more than anything that I have got to go and replace everything and take a day off work to go to the RTA and Medicare and the bank."



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