What caused the 'mass rescue' at Coolum Beach

7th December 2017 4:01 PM
Lifeguard Luke Paterson was involved in the 'mass rescue' at Coolum Beach yesterday. Lifeguard Luke Paterson was involved in the 'mass rescue' at Coolum Beach yesterday. Patrick Woods

THE conditions that forced Coolum lifeguards into a "mass rescue” yesterday are expected to continue.

At about 2pm yesterday eight swimmers were caught in a flash rip and swept off their feet and out to sea.

Knowing the conditions were more dangerous than normal, lifeguards pre-empted it with a jetski sitting past the breakers.

Lifeguard supervisor Trent Robinson said the rescues were successfully completed in 10 minutes.

"It was just eight inexperienced swimmers who got themselves into trouble,” he said, playing down the dangers.

"They were out of their depth and got pushed out. It was lucky we had a jet ski and rescue boards out there.

"We'd advised swimmers to stay close to shore and to swim to their ability over the PA system.”

Mr Robinson said the conditions weren't common. He said the onshore winds had created an inshore gutter with the change of tide and winds.

"It looks like these conditions and the swells will continue,” he said.

"We advise people to be careful on the beach around this time of year when we get the king tides.”