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News & Media

  • Two boats almost dragged underwater during NSW rescue
  • April 18, 2017

Three fisherman were forced to abandon their tinnie in the mouth of the Tweed River after their engine stalled at the worst possible time.

Byron Leal and his buddies were preparing to push out past the breakers yesterday afternoon when their motor died.

The men were forced ditch their boat and belongings and dive for safety as huge waves barrelled down on top of them.

A nearby surfer who recorded the incident pulled Leal aside when he got to shore and showed him just how close he came to going down with his vessel.

"We dropped the anchor because we stalled and the anchor just went through me leg," Leal told 9NEWS while pointing to his torn shorts.

"Nearly cut me legs open. Yeah (engine) conked out at the worst time."

The surfer also filmed the moment a yacht, who attempted to pull the tinnie to deeper water, was also nearly toppled by the waves.

"Look at this. He's just going to cop one," the surfer can be heard saying off camera as the larger vessel battles the wild surf.

"No look at that, no way. He just copped a big one on the head."

Even a large sand dredger was forced to turn away from the monstrous waves.

Volunteer Marine Rescue worker Glenda Ashby urged people to "mindful" of surf conditions before entering the water.

"Sit back, watch what the waves are doing. Watch the sets. Don't risk it."

Just four hours earlier a couple also trying to exit the Tweed River were left to the mercy of the ocean after their engine failed at almost the exact same spot, flipping their boat before jet skiers managed to pull them to safety.

Their boat remains at the bottom of the river.

Read more here


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