Bodysurfer injured on sandbar

A BODYSURFER was taken to hospital with suspected neck injuries today, after he ‘face-planted’ on a sandbar at Sawtell’s main beach.

The 49-year-old Armidale man underwent x-rays after the incident about 11.15am.

Council lifeguards Col Cowie and Sonny Tisdell treated the man after he walked from the surf, monitoring his condition until paramedics arrived.

“He was dumped while bodysurfing a wave. The impact was on the top his head and he heard a crack in his neck,” Mr Tisdell said.

“Because it was a potential spinal injury great precaution was taken.”

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said a four-wheel-drive ambulance accessed the southern end of the beach and transported the man to hospital.

Now that summer beach patrols have wound up on outlying Coffs Coast beaches, swimmers are urged to drive the extra distance to patrolled beaches.

The warning comes after a man drowned at Port Macquarie on Saturday evening.

In a mass rescue, three other men were pulled from a strong rip off Shelly’s Beach around 7pm but unfortunately the deceased man could not be located.

He was found roughly an hour later by off-duty surf lifesavers. Attempts to resuscitate him failed.

The deceased man, aged in his mid 20s, was holidaying on the Mid North Coast from Sydney.

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Dean Storey, praised the rapid response of off-duty lifesavers in light of the tragedy.

“These guys did a fantastic job and three people are safe due to their quick, professional actions,” Mr Storey said.

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