THERE are probably dozens of minor surf rescues and close calls on the coast every year where people are pulled from the ocean just before being washed away.
There just happened two of these rescues at Narooma last week.
On Wednesday, a visitor from inland rescued a local from the coast.
Dave Alley and his family from Canberra were down at the unpatrolled and often wild outer Bar Beach on Wednesday lunchtime to try their hand at collecting beach worms.
Dave had walked a fair way up the beach when he noticed his wife Angie yelling at a couple of primary-school aged boys in the surf.
“One was closer in and could still stand but the other one was around 20 to 30 metres out and was starting to get in trouble,” she said.
“I was yelling for him to swim sideways, not against the current, and to try and catch a wave in.”
Dave rushed back up the beach, taking his phone and wallet out of his pockets, ready to wade in after the boy in trouble, while Angie asked a surfer on the beach if they could use the surfboard if needed.
“At that point, he was screaming, his head arched back and his face ducking under the water at times,” Dave said.
Realising the boy was in deep trouble, he made the call to wade out and fortunately was able to grab the boy’s arm while his own feet were still just on the bottom.
Together they made it back to shore with Dave pushing the boy ahead in the waves and the relief upon reaching safety was obvious when the youngster hugged the complete stranger that had just rescued him.
Angie then took the boy and friend to his mother’s place of work in Narooma where more tears of relief were shared.
Apparently, the boys were only supposed to swim on the shark net side of the break wall at Bar Beach and the mother was no doubt not too impressed with her son and his friend’s decision to swim at an open and unpatrolled beach.
By coincidence, the Alley family is staying not far from where this local lives and the mum brought over a couple of bottles wine that night saying she could not thank them enough.
The very next day on Thursday there was another surf rescue when an off-duty police officer, also not from the area, rescued a 74-year-old woman caught in a rip at Carters Beach, Kianga at 3.50pm.
He grabbed the angel ring rescue device stationed on the headland before swimming out to the woman.
She was taken to Moruya Hospital by ambulance for observation.
These incidents is another example of how important it is only swim at safe and patrolled beaches, a lesson that even coastal locals need to heed.
These incidents are examples of how important it is only swim at safe and patrolled beaches, a lesson that even coastal locals need to heed.
The Alley family meanwhile has fallen in love with the community of Narooma and on Friday had a few property inspections to see if they could find a permanent holiday home.