Ambulance officers work on a Canadian woman who got into difficulties in the surf at Park Beach.
Ambulance officers work on a Canadian woman who got into difficulties in the surf at Park Beach. Bruce Thomas / Coffs Coast Advocate

Another near drowning in rough seas

A CANADIAN tourist nearly drowned in pounding surf at Park Beach yesterday.

The 21-year-old woman was bathing outside the flagged area about 200 metres north of the surf club when she swam into trouble just before 2pm.

James McMahon, 38, from Coffs Harbour, had been swimming between the flags and was walking up the beach when he saw the woman's boyfriend waving his arms in the surf.

“He couldn't get to her initially,” James said.

“I got into the surf where he was and he reached her. I got my son, William, to get the lifeguards.

“We got her to the beach and the lifeguards arrived.

“I heard the boyfriend say to the lifeguards he thought the flags meant there was a surf school.”

Coffs Harbour City Council lifeguards Alistair Lane and Shane Bray applied oxygen to the woman, who was breathing, at the water's edge.

They carried her to the shade of the reserve above the beach, where paramedics continued to treat her ahead of her trip to hospital.

“We have to make sure people keep getting the message, and that is to swim between the flags,” Alistair said. The woman's condition was listed as stable late yesterday.



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