News

Three heroes rescue tourists

RESCUE HEROES: Mates Damon Bell (left) and Blake Cole risked their lives to help tourists who were caught in a rip at Marcoola Beach.
RESCUE HEROES: Mates Damon Bell (left) and Blake Cole risked their lives to help tourists who were caught in a rip at Marcoola Beach. Brett Wortman

FOUR international tourists owe their lives to three men who happened to be in the right place when the visitors decided to go for a swim at the wrong time.

Surf lifesavers had packed up for the day at Marcoola Beach on Wednesday when six men staying in the area went for a swim.

But it was not long before their afternoon dip turned to trouble.

Friends and co-workers Blake Cole, of Mudjimba, and Damon Bell, of Marcoola, had only just arrived for a fish at the beach when they saw the group in the surf.

They thought nothing of it until a surfer, believed to be from the area, ran to his car to grab his surfboard to use as a flotation device.

"That's when we realised it was fair dinkum and they were in trouble," Mr Bell said.

"Before that we thought it was just people mucking around in the surf."

The pair then sprang into action.

Mr Bell, 28, swam to the man closest to shore and brought him in.

Mr Cole, 27, went about 100 metres out to the man furthest away and in the most trouble.

The surfer then returned and managed to get two other men on to his surfboard.

The remaining two got themselves back to shore.

The man Mr Cole rescued was the hardest to get in.

"He was a big guy and the waves were going over our heads," he said.

"We were out there about 20 minutes swimming. My feet couldn't touch the ground.

"It felt like someone was slicing my lungs with a razor blade, but I just had to keep swimming.

"I thought we could have died out there."

That was when Mr Bell swam back out to help his friend.

Together, they eventually managed to bring in the man.

"We were struggling with him the whole way," Mr Bell said.

"It was a constant fight. It was very scary.

"When we got him in he had to be carried.

"He couldn't walk. He was unconscious."

This man was treated by paramedics on the beach and taken to Nambour General Hospital in a stable condition.

"I'm not trying to say we're heroes but I reckon if we didn't bring him in I don't think he would have made it," Mr Cole said.

Mr Cole and Mr Bell, who work together at Nature's Cutting Board, said they had no hesitation in going to the rescue and would do it again.

Mr Cole is no stranger to rescues.

Last year he and his girlfriend assisted in the rescue of two men whose boat ran into trouble on the Noosa River bar.

Topics:  heroism, marcoola beach, rescue, tourism, tourists




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Teen driver injured in crash with pole

Police car. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Car blocking road after crashing into pole

Police release CCTV images of bottle store robbery

Police conducted patrols of the area but were unable to locate the two men.

Two men fled hold up with a sum of cash

Latest deals and offers

Mayor Paul Pisasale on the federal election

Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale on the federal election

2016 Rosewood Show

Thousands of people passed through the gates to enjoy all the fun and entertainment...

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%