Fisherman hauls in exhausted couple

By BELINDA SCOTT

DANIEL Boorman thought he would drop a line in the gutter at Diggers Beach but ended up helping to drag out two exhausted swimmers.

The 31-year-old Grafton father was in Coffs Harbour yesterday with his 10-year-old son, who was trying out with North Coast basketball and thought he would do a spot of fishing while they were having lunch.

But while he was standing on the edge of the surf an older couple became trapped in a rip only 10-15 metres from where he was standing and found themselves suddenly in neck-deep water and pulled out to sea.

Daniel said the man, who was probably aged in his 50s, called out for help and he in turn had asked for help from 'a young bloke' walking on the beach with his girlfriend.

He said they were the closest of about 15 to 20 people on the beach at the time, about 11.30am yesterday.

"Luckily I had boardies on so I threw the rest of my gear off pretty quick," Daniel said.

He said his young helper, who was only 17- or 18-years-old, rescued the older man, who had managed to swim to the side and cling to the rocks, while Daniel swam out to help the woman, who was exhausted and had sensibly given up trying to swim and was floating.

"A board surfer came out and took her in for me and I swam away towards the centre of the beach where there was no rip. Luckily for me there was a life saver training for the Coolangatta Gold who got me on his board."

Daniel said the rescued couple were uninjured but very tired and very appreciative of all the help they received. He said there was a deep gutter running along Diggers which ran out in a rip at the south end of the beach.

He said he thought the couple may have been visitors, because they did not know about the rip, but he was surprised there was no sign on the beach, especially as he was told yesterday an Italian couple staying at a nearby resort had been rescued in the same spot a fortnight earlier.



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