Stranger saves woman from rip

KATHY Slatyer says she owes her life to the Good Samaritan who appeared out of nowhere at Diggers Beach.

Mrs Slatyer, who is on holiday from Sydney, found herself in deep trouble in a fierce rip on Tuesday morning.

She knows her young rescuer only as Aaron and describes him as a true hero who deserves a bravery award.

“I entered the surf waist deep at the far southern end and I was dog paddling for five or 10 minutes when this rip came under my feet and started sucking me down,” Mrs Slatyer said.

“I knew I was going to get into serious trouble and I put my right hand straight up.

“This man paddled to me on a surfboard and he said to hang onto the front of the board. He stayed at the back end of the board and he clamped his arm on to my arm and he was paddling with one arm.”

Mrs Slatyer said the surfer told her what to do and kept her calm throughout the ordeal.

“It took 15 minutes to come in wave by wave in between the swells and we chatted to each other.

“His name is Aaron, he's a chef in Coffs Harbour, and he's been here for a year, and he's married with a son. I thought he'd grown up on the beach but he told me he grew up in Adelaide.

“We made it back to the beach and in the end he said ‘God bless you' and I said ‘God bless you' and he walked away.

“I just want to say thank-you to him and I would like him nominated for a bravery award. He literally saved my life – if he hadn't been there I would have died.

“I was being sucked into a whirlpool and I've never felt such force like that before and I've done a lot of waist-deep swimming.”

If you know who Aaron is, contact our newsroom on 6650 2951 or email

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