Narooma surfer helps boy and man from rip

A surfer has urged swimmers "if in doubt, don't go out" after helping a boy and man in a rip at the Narooma Breakwall on Wednesday, January 20.

Richard Whitty's frustration has been brewing in his 30-years of surfing after witnessing too many poor choices of places to swim.

"You would have to be pretty stupid to go swimming yesterday," he said on Thursday.

The swell has increased along the South Coast and Narooma surfer Richard Whitty is worried people could drown when swimming at risky beaches.

The swell has increased along the South Coast and Narooma surfer Richard Whitty is worried people could drown when swimming at risky beaches.

Keen surfboard riders like Mr Whitty were pumped to catch the big waves, but conditions were not ideal for swimmers.

At about 11am, Mr Whitty was paddling out to catch a wave when he saw a man and young boy swimming about 30-metres from an intense rip, rushing out against the rock wall.

They seemed okay, but he decided to keep an eye on them.

"It took me two goes to get out in the surf, I was getting smashed myself," he said.

After catching a wave he turned to paddle back out and saw the pair struggling.

He paddled over to help.

"I caught the kid's eye and told him to swim to the side out of the rip," Mr Whitty said.

"The father was panicking; He saw me and started swimming."

He said it was lucky the pair were able to reach the sandbank and return to shore.

"They had no idea, they were swimming against the rip and were knackered," Mr Whitty said.

He said the beach at the breakwall was not good for swimming: "It's really gnarly."

"All it can take is for a big set to come through, sweep you off your feet and drag you straight into the rip," he said.

"It's up on the list of the most dangerous beaches to swim at - it's really easy to get caught in that rip when the surf's up.

"I think there should be a big sign saying not to swim there."

Mr Whitty urged holidaymakers not to become complacent.

"A lot of people come to Narooma and are in fairyland thinking everything is beautiful; they're on holidays and let their guard down.

"The water has been so beautiful and clear, it's amazing like the tropics - paradise."

But with swell building over the past few days, beaches have become a mess.

"It really worries me; if you have no idea, don't presume you'll be alright," he said.

"Use common sense, if it looks gnarly go and swim in an inlet.

"If in doubt - don't go out."

This story In doubt? Don't go out: Frustrated surfer's call after boy, man caught in rip first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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