Swimmers rescued from Ettalong sand bar
Ocean and Umina Beach Surf Life Savers were tasked with rescuing a group of swimmers at the Ettalong Point sand bar on December 27 after a jetski officer noticed the group was unaware of the changing tide.
From his jetski, Mr Peter Dell spotted the group of seven, who seemed unaware of the turning tide at around 4pm.
Mr Dell called Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Network, with members of Ocean and Umina Beach clubs both launching their rescue boats to attend.
"It was an extremely busy afternoon for us as we were treating a number of people who had suffered bluebottle stings," said Central Coast duty officer Ms Katie Dixon from Ocean Beach.
"That sandbar is really enticing spot and it appears that the holidaymakers got caught out by not knowing the environment well.
Fortunately this happened in an area where there was a lot of activity.
"It seemed like they got taken by surprise by how quickly the tide turned.
"Conditions were quite good with only a little chop, so it was a relatively straight forward rescue," she said.
The Surf Life Saving "unmanned aerial vehicle", Little Ripper 22, was also deployed to monitor the situation.
"The Little Ripper drone was being flown by Mr James Irwin out of Umina and it was really useful to have it.
"What it provided our lifesavers was a bird's eye view of the situation as it unfolded in real time.
"While fortunately we didn't require it yesterday, if someone had fallen into the water, it would have helped provide an ideal starting point to commence a search," Ms Dixon said.
Between the two club's boats and the support ski, the group of people were ferried to shore where the remaining lifesavers assessed them for injuries.
All were given a clean bill of health.
Media release, 28 Dec 2016
Surf Life Saving NSW Media