A timely reminder for Easter surf safety

A surfing accident at Byron Bay this morning is a timely reminder for surf safety this Easter.

People walking along the cliff-top track at The Pass noticed a man fall off his board in the surf shortly after 9am. They were unable to see him resurface and police were called via Triple 0. The Ambulance Service, the Australian Lifeguard Service and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter were also activated.

Lifeguards on a rescue jet ski found the elderly man on a small beach between The Pass and Wategos Beach. A lifeguard swam into shore and confirmed the welfare of the 81-year-old Ocean Shores man. Apart from suffering severe bruising from being washed upon rocks, the man was in a satisfactory condition.

The lifeguard walked the man out of the remote beach back to The Pass where he was checked by ambulance officers and allowed to leave.

Lifeguards praised the actions those who contacted police.

“The gent waited til help arrived instead of swimming back out through the dangerous surf,” said Northern NSW Lifeguard Co-ordinator, Stephen Leahy.

“He was grateful for our assistance and very apologetic for causing a bother.

“The members of the public who called 000 waited until lifeguards arrived and gave us an accurate location and description of the missing man. Their assistance ensured a quick and safe rescue.”

Lifesavers and lifeguards are gearing up for a busy Easter long weekend on the Far North Coast.

The forecast is for reasonable weather and the surf will remain moderate, with choppy conditions and lots of rips along the coast.

“Volunteer lifesavers and employed lifeguards will be on duty right through the Easter period,” said Mr Leahy.

“We are expecting some good crowds on the beaches and our lifesavers, lifeguards and support operations will be out in force making sure everyone enjoys the beach in safety. If you’re going to hit the beach this Easter, make sure it’s a patrolled beach and stay between the red and yellow flags.”

The following beaches will be patrolled this Easter long weekend:

Tweed Shire: Duranbah, Fingal, Cudgen (at Kingscliff), Salt, Casuarina, Cabarita, Hastings Point, Pottsville

Byron Shire: Brunswick Heads, Byron Main Beach, Clarks Beach, The Pass, Wategos

Ballina Shire: Lennox Head, Sharps, Shelly (Ballina)

Richmond Valley: Evans Head.

Clarence Valley: Iluka, Turners, Yamba Main Beach, Brooms Head.

Lifeguards and lifesavers will also provide emergency response and surveillance patrols using rescue jet skis, 4WD vehicles and the Ballina Jet Rescue Boat.

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