Swimmers lucky to be alive after strong rip sparks major rescue in Bondi Beach
Three swimmers have had a lucky escape after they got into trouble in the waters at Bondi Beach this evening.
At around 7.20pm males in their twenties had been swimming at the south end of Bondi Beach.
A strong rip had started to take the men out to sea. Two of the men managed to return to shore with one struggling getting back, however the third man disappeared as the currents separated their friend.
A frantic search was underway with two surfers assisting. Emergency services were contacted and a rescue operation commenced.
The NSW Ambulance and Westpac rescue helicopters were tasked to the scene and grave fears were held for the missing man who was confirmed to be taken out to sea.
Around 20 minutes later the third man unexpectantly arrived where the emergency services were staged.
The man had thought the rescue helicopters were for someone else in trouble, but soon learned that his friends had believed he had drowned.
The man explained that he was sucked out into deeper waters and across much of Bondi Beach to the north. He was able to stay calm, stay afloat and return to shore after being taken by the very strong rip.
His calm thinking, swimming abilities and treading water kept him alive.
The lifelong friends hugged as they were reunited. The man said that it was scary and it felt like his legs were being pulled by the surf.