Three fit young guys got into difficulties after driving up from western Sydney for a late afternoon swim.
Two of us went after them when they swam outside the flags and were washed off a sandbank into a rip. The surf was dangerous, with two metre waves crashing everywhere. One of the men was swept a long way out, and my rescue board was hit by a huge wave and disappeared. The man was losing energy and grabbing for my neck but we managed to clip him into a rescue tube.
Everyone made it back to the beach, but they were lucky. Surf patrol finished for the day just thirty minutes after these guys entered the water. No life savers would have been on the beach to rescue them.
With better education about water safety as children, perhaps these guys would have been able to assess the situation and stay out of danger.