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Wedding goes ahead after heroic lifeguard saves five

Zsolt Dallos
Zsolt Dallos

THE biggest day in a couple's life was seconds away from becoming a tragedy after four men from a wedding party, including the groom, were swept out to sea in a rip.

The men, believed to be from the Palmwoods and Woombye area, got into trouble about 10.30am yesterday after a sandbank they were standing on collapsed within the red-and-yellow flags at Marcoola.

Lifeguard Zsolt Dallos, sitting in the radio tower when the incident occurred, said he looked down for a second and lifted his head to see the men in distress.

They were instantly pulled into a rip and were quickly being carried out to sea.

Beachgoer and New Zealand tourist Clint Ford swam out to aid in the rescue, but he ended up needing help himself.

"The ground would have just disappeared from underneath them," Mr Dallos said.

"Just like that they were caught in a rip and being sucked out. It happened in a split second."

A quick-thinking Mr Dallos radioed for help from nearby Discovery Beach before racing from the radio tower down to the surf.

He took his board out to rescue the first three men, including Mr Ford.

"They were all screaming for help," he said.

"I yelled out to the other guys to stay calm and to not fight the rip. I told them I'd be back."

Mr Dallos had brought the first three back to shore by the time the lifeguard from Discovery Beach made it to Marcoola.

They jumped on the jet ski to rescue the other two.

They got the first man in, but briefly lost sight of the last man, believed to be the groom's brother.

"Then we came over a wave and could see his face just sticking out of the water," Mr Dallos said.

"Another 30 seconds and he would have been on the bottom."

Four of the five men rescued were given oxygen, including the groom's brother, who was taken to Nambour General Hospital in a serious condition.

He was later stabilised and spent the night in hospital for observation. He should be released today.

The wedding was believed to have gone ahead last night.

Topics:  editors picks, heroes, rescue, swimming, weddings



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