Lifesavers on the Far South Coast have been kept rather busy, with seven rescues conducted over the three-day New Year's weekend.
Among them was the safe retrieval of two kayakers who found themselves in trouble at Bithry Inlet, north of Tathra, on Monday, January 3.
Far South Coast director of lifesaving Cheryl McCarthy praised the efforts of members of the public who assisted the kayakers, who were caught in a strong current and swept out of the river mouth.
"When the call came through it was actually from one of our off-duty patrol captains - Van Osgood - who was also at Bithry at the time," Ms McCarthy said.
"Two kayakers had been swept out through the entrance. We activated the IRB team from Tathra and the Westpac helicopter was also called in to assist.
"A member of the public got them out of the water and on to nearby rocks safely. He had his own kayak and made a calculated decision that he would be able to rescue them safely."
Ms McCarthy said when the lifesavers from Tathra and the Westpac Lifesaver 23 helicopter arrived, they were able to locate and retrieve the kayaks.
Both kayakers escaped significant injuries, but were a little shaken by the experience.
"It's a good example of quick action by members of the public in calling it in."
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Meanwhile, Ms McCarthy said beaches had been very busy all week, with volunteer lifesavers from Batemans Bay to Pambula conducting seven rescues within three days as well as 164 preventative actions.
She said these preventative actions could be anything from adjusting red-and-yellow flag positions due to rips developing, or offering safety advice to beachgoers outside the flagged patrol areas - thereby avoiding the need for further rescues.
Ms McCarthy said lifeguards from the Australia Lifeguard Service had also been kept particularly busy at Merimbula's Bar Beach on Monday, January 3.
"We're starting to see the impact of the cyclone further north where although the swell may not appear large, there is still a lot of power and a lot of water moving around.
"It can get intense especially at the change of tide, which affects Bar Beach in particular so the ALS certainly had their work cut out for them yesterday."
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