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



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Top 10 cheapest houses on the market in the Gladstone region

98 Dalrymple Drive Toolooa

A LIST of Gladstone's best, cheapest houses

'He can see!' Mum's tears as boy fights Taipan bite

Eli Campbell, 2, is recovering at Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital after he was bitten by a taipan three times at Agnes Water.

Todder bitten by a snake can now see, talk and walk.

Local Partners

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Family scoop bargain $160K 'holiday home' in Gladstone

BARGAIN: A Biloela family has purchased 21 Ann St for $160,000. They try to get to Gladstone at least once a month.

ADVERTISED as "renovate or demolish", but snapped up for getaway.

REVEALED: Gladstone property prices hit lowest in downturn

Aerial View overlooking Kin Kora residential area, Gladstone.



Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

GLADSTONE PROPERTY prices have hit their lowest since the bust.

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!