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

NEW: 10 best places to rent in Gladstone between $100-$200

House 8 Gladstone

Here's a list of some of Gladstone's best places to rent under $200

Gladstone's best teacher revealed

CLASS FAVOURITE: Shelley Slade, head of special education services at Gladstone State High School, was named by Observer readers as Gladstone's favourite teacher. Pictured with students Kody Walsh, 13, and Phoebie Walker-Woodrow, 15.

The Observer put the call out for Gladstone's best teacher

60-yo man taken to hospital after nasty snake bite surprise

A Boyne Island man in his 60s was taken to hospital early this morning after suffering a snake bite at his Katandra St home.

Paramedics responded to the call at about 4am.

Local Partners

Mariah Carey and James Packer discussing relationship

Mariah Carey and James Packer are discussing how to work things out

January Jones: Take time away from your phone

January Jones needs time away from her phone

Mel C won't return to Spice Girls for daughter

MEL C is adamant she won't reunite with the Spice Girls

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Orlando Bloom 'buried' Katy Perry in birthday flowers

Orlando Bloom "buried" Katy Perry in flowers for her birthday

Investors eye new local estate with dirt cheap property

A new estate, Aquatic Vista, has opened at Agnes Water.

BUYERS to go crazy for an entire new estate put on the market.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

OPINION: Banks fear Gladstone future: Councillor

REGIONAL Queensland deserves a helping hand on housing.

Bank reclaims Goondoon St complex plan, places on the market

Multi-million dollar development plan up for sale.

MULTI-MILLION dollar plan for Goondoon St complex on the market.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!