The North Narebeen under 23 crew struggles to control their boat in rough seas.
The North Narebeen under 23 crew struggles to control their boat in rough seas. Bruce Thomas / Coffs Coast Advocate

Boats hammered by big surf

THE rough conditions certainly hammered surf boat crews at Park Beach on Saturday, but thankfully, no-one was seriously hurt.

The crews were contesting the 35th Raine and Horne Surfcraft Carnival and had to muster all of the skills at their disposal to negotiate the big surf.

Coffs Harbour Surf Club president Tony Mutkins said there were an estimated seven or eight ambulance deliveries to hospital.

One competitor needed eight stitches to a head wound and another surf life saver was placed on a spinal board and later treated for suspected muscular injuries.

Two judges were hurled into the water after a surfboat slammed into their stand. One of them was cracked across his nose and lost his glasses, while the other was hospitalised.

Mr Mutkins said St John Ambulance officers performed admirably on the day, treating more than 50 competitors for gashes and other injuries.

“No-one was seriously hurt at the end of the day,” he said.

“These guys do this for a living. They do take it on, even though they can get hurt.

“It was rough, and spectacular to watch, and while no events were cancelled, we transferred the under 21s and under 19s to Sunday.”

Woolgoogla Surf Life Saving Club members were dealt a nasty hand when their surfboat was pulverised by the pounding surf.

Trevor Clark surveys the damage .All five of the crew were injured and one was admitted to hospital after the boat nose-dived into the sand.

“We'd reached the final and unfortunately that happened,” the club's surfboat captain, Trevor Clark, said.

“That's the nature of the beast.”

The club is now fundraising in earnest to gather the $27,000 needed to replace the stricken craft, which was nearing the end of its life anyway.

A recent corporate donation of $10,000 will help the club fulfil its mission.

If you would like to help, contact Mr Clark on 0413 650 054.

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