Lifesavers from four different surf lifesaving clubs (SLSC) mounted a joint response to rescue a man at Forresters Beach on February 10.
The State Operations Centre received a request from Police to respond to three people in distress in the water at the unpatrolled, south facing Foresters Beach.
One was reported to be an 11-year-old boy, and members of the public or family entered the water to assist.
Despite the terrible conditions, Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB) from Wamberal and Shelly Beach SLSCs were able to launch, along with a jetski from Terrigal.
The Entrance SLSC also had a jetski on the way to the scene.
One lifesaver described the water as “like a washing machine” and the Duty Officer who attended the incident said he could not understand why anyone would attempt to swim in those conditions.
When rescuers arrived, the IRB crew from Wamberal found a man being supported by a surfer on his board and transported him into the boat.
He was then transferred to the jetski where he was taken to shore to waiting Ambulance personnel and Police.
It’s unclear how the other two swimmers got back to shore but it appears surfers may have assisted.
SLS Central Coast Duty Officer, Glenn Clarke, said the lifesavers did a fantastic job in very challenging conditions.
“I’m so impressed at the speed our guys responded.
“The conditions are really terrible and it was a great job by everyone involved.
“The decision was made to use the jetski to bring him to shore as it’s easier to manoeuvre in the shallows than the IRB.
“Dave Smith from Terrigal SLSC did a great job driving the jetski,” Clarke said.
Media release, Feb 10
Donna Wishart, SLS NSW