Swimmers hurt in dangerous swell at beaches

LIFEGUARDS were kept on their toes over the weekend with a list of swim and surf injuries along the Far North Coast due to dangerous beach conditions.

Surf Lifesaving Far North Coast duty officer Chris Samuels said Saturday was the busiest day.

"It was a dangerous swell coming up from the south ... it wasn't quite as bad as Sydney but we still had quite rough sea conditions," he said.

"There was a broken leg at Fingal, a dislocated shoulder at Brunswick and one in the Byron Bay area."

Rough conditions haven't eased off yet, but Mr Samuels said next weekend looked a lot calmer.

Australian Lifeguard Service Northern NSW coordinator Scott McCartney said supervisors reported about 10 dislocated shoulders and a few suspected spinal injuries. Overcrowding was one contributing factor to the high number of rescues.

"The only issue would be trying to fit all these swimmers in with surfers going up and down the main beach," he said.

"That can create a more dangerous swimming area because you have fibreglass boards involved."

Mr McCartney reminded swimmers to be calm if in trouble.

"I know that's quite hard to do but the idea is to save as much energy as possible," he said. "Get the lifeguard's attention by putting your hand up in the air and waving for attention."



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