Yamba man saves boy from rip
WITHIN minutes of eight-year-old Angus Lambert plunging into the water at Turners Beach in Yamba on Thursday, he was swept around 80 metres out to sea in a rip too strong for either of his parents to tackle.
His father Glenn went as far in as he dared, the farmer from Coonabarabran unable to swim, and his mother Skye was not confident enough to dive in and made sure her other son made it to shore safely.
“I didn’t know what to do, I knew Angus was in trouble but knew I’d be in trouble too if I attempted to save him,” she said.
The screams of the parents were heard by Yamba local, Justin Henwood, who’d taken his daughter Kalani to the beach for a noon picnic.
Growing up in the surf, the co-owner of Yamba YHA didn’t think twice.
“I yelled at some backpackers to come and look after Kalani and dived in off the rocks,” Justin said.
“I was glad his father hadn’t jumped in because I thought I couldn’t save them both,” he said.
By this time young Angus, still clinging to his bodyboard, was being pummelled by two-metre waves.
“He yelled out to me, ‘I’m coming, you’ll be right’,” Angus said.
Justin tried to push the boy out of the rip, not wanting to take him up on the rocks in the dangerous surf conditions.
“In the end I was getting pretty tired and made a quick escape on to the rocks in a lull,” he said.
“It was one of the strongest rips I had ever seen there.”
Exhausted and in shock, the Lamberts left Turners for the relative safety of Whiting Beach, thankful for the quick action of the surfer that saved their son.
“We had in our minds all week the tragic drownings that had been in the media and had been telling the boys to stay close,” Skye said. “It was all too quick.”
Glenn said the boys were better at riding sheep than surfboards.
Sydney parents Joseph and Carole Sherry died tragically trying to save their children from a Ballina rip last month.