A highly eventful morning. I was just about to start shooting some surfing action when the above situation took place. A surfer was massively struggling trying to get safely to shore; a powerful rip was pulling sidewards and a heavy shore break wasn't helping. He got got ever so close to the rocks; but thankfully managed to get himself somewhat clear. With his energy zapped and waves continually pounding over his head he raised his arm signalling for assistance.
Being the closest one to him I decided I to jump in.
With my camera down and outer layers off (NO it didn't look anything like Baywatch) in I went. I ducked under the first wave and my undies almost flew off; thankfully they did not. I swam out as quick as I could out to the stricken surfer... I reached him and realised there was little chance I would be able to paddle him back in. What I could do was keep him calm and help paddle him across, as far away from the rocks as possible. Then Bondi Rescue's Chappo came in and took over, getting the heavy lifting done fairly quickly. Victor was back on terra firma... wrecked, out of breathe and generally not feeling wonderful.
A happy ending :-)
Victor after being on the lifeguard's oxygen machine for approximately 10 minutes started to feel much better. We even joked about whether he should tell or not tell his mum what had happened. His spirits had lifted and he was so grateful to all who had helped out. We were just thankful he was doing better and could go home to tell tale.
Moral of today's story. Check the conditions, ask the lifeguards for their observations, only go if your ability dictates and always go surfing with a buddy. Stay safe in the water... it can turn sour pretty quick!! No reason to put yourself in harms way~ be safe and enjoy this time of year.
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