Life saver braves high sea to rescue angler washed off rocks

A SURF LIFE saver armed with only an angel ring and a rescue tube braved rough seas to swim to the rescue of an angler washed from rocks at Boulders Beach yesterday.

Surf Life Saving NSW said the Lismore man was washed from the rocks fully clothed while fishing at the beach, near Lennox Head, and was left clinging to a rocky outcrop.

Surf Rescue Emergency Response Far North Coast duty officer Garry Meredith, perhaps better known for his work with the Ballina Jet Boat, leapt into the water with an angel ring from the beach and a rescue tube he had in his car and swam out to the angler.

Mr Meredith calmed the angler down before swimming him back to shore. The angler was taken to hospital suffering hypothermia and minor cuts and bruises.

Mr Meredith later said the angler, who was not wearing a life jacket, was lucky to have held on for as long as he did.

"It was a good result for sure, it was very difficult to get across the water to get to him and he did the right thing by staying where he was until help arrived," Mr Meredith said.

"Often people attempt to get themselves to shore or clamber back onto rocks, get hit by waves and hit their heads and can drown." 

Surf Life Saving NSW said Lennox Head surf life savers also joined the rescue effort.

Swimmers, surfers and anglers have been warned to expect dangerous surf conditions throughout the weekend.

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