Lucky escape from freak wave
IT WAS 24 hours after her daughter Samara had been injured yet Grafton mum, Jo Adams, couldn't stop the tears.
She was looking down at her daughter in a Grafton Base Hospital bed and thinking how lucky her 16-year-old had been to survive.
Mrs Adams had asked me to come to the hospital to see her daughter and to meet one of the 'wonderful girls' who had probably saved her life.
“The young people who were with her at Brooms Head yesterday are heroes. They looked after my girl so brilliantly,” she said.
“It was important for both my daughter and me to thank them publicly.”
Holding Samara's hand at the hospital was one of her best mates, Maddy Richey. She was swimming with her at the Jew Hole at Brooms Head when the accident happened.
“We'd been planning a trip down to Brooms Head for a while and we were told about the Jew Hole as a great place to swim,” Samara said.
“I'd never been there, but the others had, so we scrambled down the cliff face and dived in,” she said.
The group, which included four more young friends from Grafton, hadn't been swimming long when one of the boys shouted out that a monster wave was coming and to grab hold of something.
Maddy said she looked out to sea and saw a freak wave at least three to four metres high charging towards the rocks.
“It hit and turned the swimming hole into a giant washing machine and when we all surfaced we couldn't see Samara,” she said.
Samara can't remember a thing after the wave hit, probably because she had been smashed head first into the rocks.
Olivia Morrison and Alana Keats who were with the girls swam over and lifted Samara's now profusely bleeding face out of the water.
With the help of Kane Drayton and Andrew Ensby, the group carried her back up the steep cliff to the carpark where others came to their assistance.
“A guy in a blue shirt grabbed a first aid kit from his car and then a nurse came over and started looking after Samara,” Maddy said.
“We still couldn't stop the bleeding and she was only semi-conscious so we put her in a car and rushed her to Maclean Hospital,” she said.
After initial treatment at Maclean, she was transferred to Grafton Base Hospital where she was operated on suffering from severe facial injuries.
She underwent a second operation yesterday afternoon and it's believed she will need further surgery in the next week once the swelling had gone down.
“It's tough on her, but she's alive and that's what matters the most,” Jo said as she gave her daughter's hand a tight squeeze.
“It's tough on her, but she's alive and that's what matters the most.”