Board riders urged to take care
THREE board riders who found themselves in over their heads in large swell and persistent winds have been rescued by Clarence Valley lifeguards in as many days.
Clarence Valley lifeguard supervisor Greg Wyllie heaped praise on the majority of Clarence Valley beach-goers for the way they have so far behaved this summer, despite the varying conditions.
"So far it's been a very successful season, with beach-goers responding to directives and being well-behaved," Mr Wyllie said.
"The general public need to be commended because they are being great in awareness of directives being given by lifeguards. And fortunately there have been no incidents that have required the need to call an ambulance."
That's not to say there haven't been any close calls.
Large seas over the weekend and consistent south/south-easterly winds contributed to partial beach closures at Yamba's Pippi Beach and Wooli, and saw a few board riders get into trouble.
Mr Wyllie said the new year's first incident happened on Friday, when a body boarder without flippers was returned to shore at Wooli beach after the combination of strong offshore winds and a rip took him beyond the break.
On Saturday, Yamba lifeguard Harry Fahey rescued two people at different locations, the first being at Angourie's Spooky Beach on Saturday morning while he was off-duty.
At 1.15pm the same day, he and another lifeguard assisted an inexperienced surfer who got caught at the northern end of Turners Beach after his leg rope snapped and he became caught in the water.
Mr Wyllie said it was quality work by Mr Fahey, adding he was extremely satisfied with way this year's crop of lifeguards were performing.
"It just goes to show our designated area isn't just between the red and yellow flags, it's the whole beach."
In a separate incident, professional surfer Jeames Young helped save a fellow surfer who found himself in a scary situation at the rocks known as 'life and death' at Angourie Point.
"If you don't have confidence within yourself, please be careful and don't risk the ocean," he said on Facebook.
"Stay safe to all of you, it's the last thing you want to happen in the new year."