A local bodyboarder has captured the dramatic moment a young family was rescued after being dragged out to sea off Port Macquarie's Town Beach
The incident occurred after patrol hours near the breakwall which is notorious for strong currents, dumping waves, a permanent rip and other unpredictable conditions.
The video, captured by Adam Kesbah, shows two children caught in a rip and struggling to swim back to shore on their bodyboards.
After noticing the children struggling, the video shows two adults running into the water in an attempt to get them back to shore before getting caught in the rip themselves.
Luckily for the family, an off-duty lifeguard who was training nearby and a young surfer came to their rescue just seconds before it was too late.
The rescue comes as Surf Life Saving NSW issues a warning that swimming out of patrol hours brings many risks, and usually assistance would be some time away. Luckily in this instance, a surfer and an off-duty lifeguard were nearby.
Surf Life Saving NSW's Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman, has urged beachgoers to always swim at a patrolled location and between the red and yellow flags.
"We are reminding people about the power of the ocean environment and of just how quickly things can change, which is why it is so important to swim at a patrolled location and between the red and yellow flags," Mr Wiseman said.
"If you are caught in a rip current, the number one priority is to remain calm and conserve your energy, attract the attention of a lifesaver or lifeguard and wait to be rescued.
"If you are a competent swimmer, you can escape the rip by swimming parallel to the shore.
"Lifesavers want everyone to enjoy the beach safely, and that will always remain our highest priority, but we really want people to take heed of the safety messages and watch out for their own and others safety."
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