LONELY FIGURE: A rock fisherman looks at the rough swell at the Bluff on Saturday morning.
LONELY FIGURE: A rock fisherman looks at the rough swell at the Bluff on Saturday morning.

Wild sea conditions perilous for some

SOME surfers were singing the "you beauty" chorus as big swells rolled into the Clarence Valley, but for those not accustomed to wild conditions, tragedy came a little too close for comfort.

Two boaties were thrown overboard when their 6m boat was swamped by waves at Minnie Water on Saturday.

The pair used their esky and life jackets to stay afloat until two Minnie Water-Wooli Surf Club members spotted the floating boaties just after dawn.

By then the pair had been floating for more than an hour.

Marine Rescue Wooli unit commander Richard Taffs said the rescue was challenging but successful.

"(There was) heavy surf and a rip sweeping north along the beach towards the rocks," Mr Taffs said.

"The lifesavers used rescue boards from the surf club and, assisted by board riders, brought the two safely ashore through the heavy surf."

Police, Marine Rescue and ambulance attended the scene and both men, although battered and bruised from their ordeal, were discharged after hospital checks.

Another boat departing Minnie Water managed to attach a line with marker buoy to the swamped vessel before it sank a kilometre off One Tree Point.

However, a search by the Marine Rescue Wooli rescue boat, when the swell abated the following day, failed to find any trace of the 6m Cruise Craft.

"The vessel and all equipment are assumed lost," Mr Taffs said.

In a second incident, another search on Friday by the Wooli rescue boat along with Water Police and other Marine Rescue units from Trial Bay to Yamba, had a successful outcome when a sailing vessel, reported as overdue, was found by Marine Rescue Iluka/Yamba safely anchored in the Clarence with the skipper sound asleep.

Sailing single-handedly from Trial Bay to Yamba, he had sailed for 52 hours without sleep, finally crossing the Clarence bar at night in a rising swell and then been unable to contact family members.

Weather

Tues: 15-29 degrees, mostly sunny, 5% chance of rain

Wed: 16-30 degrees, mostly sunny, 30% chance of rain

Thurs: 15-30 degrees, mostly sunny, 30% chance of rain

Fri: 16-28 degrees, possibly shower, 60% chance of rain

Surf is predicted to ease right back to 1-2 ft for the rest of the working week.



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