Hero lifeguard saves duo in dramatic beach rescue
ROUGH surf has made for a dramatic 24 hours with lifeguards rescuing six people from flipped tinnies and responding to near drownings.
Off-duty lifeguard Brad Hitchman was walking his dog near beach access 200 at Buddina when he spotted two swimmers struggling in the surf about 6pm last night.
"He ran and grabbed a couple of spare bodyboards off some people sitting on the beach and managed to swim out, and with the aid of a surfer who was already out in the water, bring the two patients into shore," lifeguard supervisor Rhys Drury said.
Paramedics were called to Pacific Boulevard to respond to the near drowning and one man in his 30s was taken to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
He was in a stable condition.
"So two really very lucky people and just another really important message for people to just try and swim at patrolled beaches in patrolled hours," Mr Drury said.
"If our off-duty lifeguard hadn't spotted them it would have been obviously very tragic."
The dramatic rescues continued on Tuesday when two tinnies flipped at the Maroochydore bar.
A crew of people were forced to swim for their lives after their boat started sinking in the morning.
Paramedics were called to Cotton Tree Pde, Maroochydore about 5.30am to reports a boat was sinking with three people on board.
The small tinnie took on water at Maroochy River and the passengers were forced to swim to shore.
A second tinnie flipped while attempting to cross the bar around midday.
Lifeguards on jetskis and an ATV were called in to help another three people in their mid to late 20s.
"It's really unstable and very dangerous, the Maroochy River mouth," Mr Drury said.
"We've seen a number of rescues out there already this summer.
"I'm not even sure what they were thinking because as you can see it's quite sizeable out there and even the local people aren't trying to go in and out of that so it was just inexperience.
"If you're thinking of going out through the Maroochy River mouth at the moment we're asking everyone to stay well and truly clear of it."
Another two swimmers were also rescued from the water at Noosa on Tuesday.
Mr Drury said the "unstable conditions" on the Coast were contributing to the number of rescues.
"We're seeing at the moment on the Sunshine Coast some unstable conditions," he said.
"Obviously we're seeing a bit of an easterly swell coming in from a cyclone that's pushing around near Fiji and we're seeing some easterly winds.
"So we started seeing an increase in swell (Monday) afternoon around the time of that incident, and we're seeing that swell sort of hit today, peaking today going into tomorrow.
"It's not crazy out there but there definitely has been a swell increase and it's pretty messy out there."