Ironwomen and ironmen rescue swimmers from flash rip

Quick-thinking lifeguards in mass beach rescue

Recovering athletes who had taken part in a surf ironmen and ironwomen competition have sprung into action and saved 25 swimmers from a rip.

A group of 10 participants, coaches and competitors grabbed boards and rescue tubes when the swimmers were spotted struggling about 100 metres offshore and 300 metres from the competition area in Maroubra, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The swimmers were stabilised by their rescuers before inflatable boats arrived and escorted them safely to shore.

No injuries were reported.

Among the rescuers was Lana Rogers, who won round four in the Ironwoman Series.

“Lucky all of us were here still. About 20 athletes just raced to save the day and there was about 20 or 30 people out there [in trouble]. I was also there and lucky we got to the beach safely with all the people,” she told the Seven Network.

“[It was] classic Maroubra beach – the water is moving quickly and I think people go in swimming thinking they’ll stay in one place and they’re not. The water was moving very quickly and the rip just took them out to sea.”

The incident was an important reminder that conditions could change rapidly, Wayne Druery from Surf Lifesaving Australia said.

“Today, not only did these swimmers benefit from the great skills of patrolled lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach, but also our elite ironmen and ironwomen,” he said.

“Our athletes didn’t hesitate to put their lifesaving training into action and as a result, all swimmers in trouble were returned safely to their families.”

-with AAP

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