Thursday, 30 August 2012

Assist x2 Thursday 30th August 2012

ASSIST x2 16.30 – In very large challenging surf conditions lifeguards at base alerted lifeguards on the beach of 2 surfers drifting rapidly in the very strong current on the incoming tide. The surfers appeared unaware of the danger they were in and were rapidly drifting towards the point. Due to the conditions exit from the water would have been impossible once they had drifted past the headline in Rest Bay.

The beach was red flagged due to the conditions with waves with 6-8ft faces and very strong cross shore winds. All water users other than the 2 surfers had left the water.

The RWC which was in the process of being recovered was relaunched to proceed out to the surfers and give safety advice and advise them to return to shore. When the RWC arrived on scene the surfers were very close to drifting past the point. Lifeguards Nathan Evans and Gavin Davies continued to monitor the situation from the beach but due to the size of the surf and reflection of the sun it was very difficult to monitor the situation from the beach or the lifeguard station. Volunteer lifeguard Chris Page relocated in the 4x4 to the top of the headland to provide surveillance and provide other lifeguard units with regular updates on the situation as the RWC driver was unable to partake in radio com's due to the need to concentrate on the conditions.

As experienced IRB driver Gareth Davies was present at the station it was decided to also launch the IRB. This provided additional safety cover for the RWC driver should he get into difficulties and meant both surfers could be helped quickly if both required assistance simultaneously. Once the surfers made it back to shore the RWC and IRB were both recovered.

Both surfers had been unaware of the dangerous location they were in and fortunately made it back to shore unaided before the situation evolved further.

Duty Lifeguards: Nathan Evans, Gavin Davies, Lewis Campbell
Volunteer RWC (jetski) Driver: Andy Morgan
Volunteer IRB Crew: Gareth Davies Snr (driver), Dan Castle (crew)
Conditions: Overcast, Strong Westerly wind, 6-8 foot surf, Beach red flagged

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