Little Beach rip is not so pretty

LITTLE Beach at Red Rock looks picture-book perfect but a dramatic rescue last week has highlighted a difficult situation at the dangerous beach.

A visit to relatives by Perth-based dancer, David Mack, became a life-and-death event when he jumped into the ocean to save a woman camper who had been caught in the rip off Little Beach.

The woman, 25, had been caught in the treacherous rip that was dragging her out around the headland; and by the time Mr Mack got to her she was already exhausted from fighting the rip.

Luckily, he had an angel ring that she was able to use as a floating device as he battled to get her out of the fierce rip and back to shore.

It was a fortunate end to a story that could have easily ended in tragedy.

Only in September a Korean tourist was caught in the same rip and tragically drowned. There has been two other drownings at the same beach.

Tourists and locals have always been drawn to Little Beach; it is a picturesque shady area with snorkelling at the entrance to the estuary. It can look deceptively calm but it has a strong rip and undertow which can quickly drag swimmers out of safety around the headland.

The local surf club originally erected a sign that showed where the rips were but after the drowning last September it was taken down. Coffs Harbour City Council were not responsible for taking the sign down but the lifeguard service co-ordinator Mr Greg Hackfath said the original sign was confusing and needed to comply with Australian standards.

He said the council was currently exploring ways to sign dangerous beaches by having a photographic image of a rip and internationally recognised no swimming icons on them. It was an ongoing problem about how to warn people in an internationally recognised format about the dangers of the beach.

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