THE WESTPAC Surf Life Saving helicopter was in the right place at the right time on Tuesday afternoon when two swimmers became caught in a rip on the southern Gold Coast.
The rescue helicopter was mid-flight a routine patrol when they located two young men in trouble in waters south of the Tallebudgera Bar shortly before 4pm.
Chief pilot of the Westpac Life Saver rescue helicopter service Peter Bird said it all unfolded really quickly.
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“We were flying southbound on a standard patrol and spotted two people really close together in a rip,” Mr Bird said.
“We turned back to have a look just to make sure they were OK, which they weren’t.”
Mr Bird said one young man had jumped into the ocean in an effort to assist his mate who was in distress.
“Our crew got out of the helicopter quickly. One of the young men was struggling and went under water.
“The crew got in and got them both our fairly quickly. It all ended up really well.
In a separate incident on Monday, a four-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother had to also be rescued from a dangerous rip.
Channel Nine reports the children’s parents had left them unsupervised at the beach while they went shopping for the afternoon.
A board rider was left with no choice but to rescue the pair after hearing their calls for help.
“I just thought that was the grossest act of stupidity I have ever heard,” Chief lifeguard Warren Young told Channel Nine.
It is understood the children were located at least 300 metres from any flagged area.
“Leaving children near rips on an open ocean away from flags is a big mistake,” Mr Young said.
“I said to the boy, ‘you need to go back and tell your parents that your sister was one minute away from drowning.”