Run-out tides treacherous
RED Rock locals are all too aware of the power of the run-out tides from the Corindi River that runs to the beach and they hope holiday makers and fruit pickers will heed the warning.
Three backpackers have lost their lives at Red Rock in recent years, including a Korean fruit picker in 2009. Tragedy also struck at Woolgoolga in 2012.
Last weekend, a kayaker got into trouble in the mouth of the river and struggled to stay afloat as the strong tide turned, despite wearing a life jacket.
His life was saved thanks to the installation of angel rings and the fast action of Red Rock-Corindi surf life savers who pulled him to shore.
"He couldn't cope with the conditions. He had a life jacket on, but the waves were just too much for him," Surf Club vice president Wayne Scott said.
"After the man was pulled to shore, we thought he had water in his lungs, so we took oxygen over to the beach, called the ambulance and placed him on a defibrillator.
"The man went into shock and we monitored his condition until the ambulance arrived."
Recreational Fishing Alliance spokesman Malcolm Poole said the incident served as a warning to anyone swimming or kayaking in Red Rock River.
"It's also blueberry picking season at the moment and the Red Rock community has swelled with the influx of Asian pickers who go for a swim in the afternoon after picking all day - so the message needs to get to out," Mr Poole said.
Marilyn Allan, who was instrumental in getting two angel rings installed off Little Beach and the headland, said the lifesaving devices have more than proven their worth to the community.
"The angel rings are fantastic, they have helped to save more than 30 lives," Mrs Allan said.
"Before they were installed there was never anything to throw out to people who got into trouble.
"Sadly, I recall people trying to tie towels together to save an American backpacker who lost her life a few years ago."
Residents hope the word gets around that although a beautiful place to swim, it can get ugly quickly if you are not wary.
Red Rock Shop is doing its bit to help save lives with warnings about the beach written in Korean.