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Swift response by Marine Rescue NSW volunteer saves adult and child struggling in water at Nambucca Heads

An adult male and young child have been saved by a Marine Rescue Nambucca rescue watercraft (RWC) operator after being spotted struggling against the tide and heading towards the ‘hole in the wall’ on the Nambucca River just before 12pm today.

Marine Rescue Nambucca Unit Commander Gary Nichols said rescue watercraft operators on board NH 12 and NH 10 were conducting their daily patrol of the inner and outer beaches around the Nambucca Bar when the swimmers were spotted.

“Our volunteer operator on NH 12 noticed a male adult and young child battling against the tide and proceeded to check on them.

“As NH 12 approached the pair were being washed through the ‘hole in the wall’.

“Our rescue watercraft operator immediately went to their aid and assisted them onto the sled which is attached the rear of the RWC.

“He then took them to the nearest beach, assessed their condition and remained with them until they indicated they were ok.

“Our base provided clear communications for the mission with all involved working seamlessly to effect a successful rescue,” Unit Commander Nichols said.

Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Rodney Page said the proactive approach to search and rescue at Nambucca Heads shows the dedication of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers in saving lives at sea.

“The Marine Rescue Nambucca unit monitor the waters during the outgoing tide when the highest risk exists for swimmers to be taken out to sea.

“We encourage all locals and visitors to Nambucca Heads to be very mindful of the outgoing tide when swimming as people can very quickly find themselves in trouble.

“An outgoing tide in that area can run up to six knots which is quite powerful and would challenge even the strongest of swimmers,” he said.

Inspector Page is also urging boaters planning to hit the water this long weekend to make sure their engine and battery is in good working order before heading out.

“Ensure you have the correct safety equipment, carry enough fuel and don’t forget to Log On and Log Off with Marine Rescue NSW.

“When boating on our local waters please remember to wear a lifejacket.

“It can’t save you if you’re not wearing it,” he said.

Logging On via the free Marine Rescue app or VHF channel 16 ensures that the Service’s volunteers keep watch for a boater’s safe return.

Logging On can save vital time in the event of an emergency.

Inspector Page is also urging boaters and paddlers to resist hitting the water if conditions deteriorate.

“Keep an eye on conditions and always check them prior to going out and if there is any doubt, don’t go out,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.