QUICK thinking from two Woolgoolga surf lifesavers averted disaster when four Korean men were caught in a rip late Wednesday.
Sixteen-year-old off duty lifesaver Anika Morgan had been at the surf club whales when she heard the men's distress cries.
She immediately paddled to their rescue, keeping the men from drowning until friend Luke Featherstone was able to join her with another board.
The teenagers were able to return the men to shore unassisted.
"When we got out to the last guy, he was not in a good way," said Anika.
"I don't think he would have lasted much longer, he kept going under and they were all very weak.
"It was pretty scary, but I just tried to keep them calm until help arrived."
Surf Life Saving NSW duty officer for Woolgoolga Les Pepper praised the rescue effort.
"These young lifesavers did a fantastic job," said Les Pepper, "the beach is unpatrolled during weekdays this
time of year and these type of tragedies can happen so quickly."
The rescued men were treated by ambulance officers for swallowed water.
Visit www.beachsafe.org.au for information on safety on the coast.