Lifesavers ‘shouldn’t be copping this crap’
AN angry surfer allegedly grabbed a volunteer lifesaver by the arm after he was instructed to leave the area between the red and yellow flags at a Gold Coast beach.
Three surfers, two believed to be aged in their teens, were out the back of the patrolled Miami Beach around 4.45pm yesterday where they were seen to be surfing in between the flags.
Off-duty Gold Coast Bulletin photographer Jerad Williams said he was swimming there when the altercation caught his eye.
He said he then swam out to help the lifesaver, who had taken a board out to the men to ask them to leave the area.
His instructions were rebuffed.
The trio had also ignored life savers calling out to them via the megaphone.
"They were being cheeky, just saying they're in the right, that they were outside the flags," Mr Williams said.
"But they kept surfing between flags."
Mr Williams said the trio would sit on the southernmost side of the no-craft zone flags, still within the outer flags, before catching waves into the designated swimming area.
He said one swimmer was also nearly hit by one of the riders.
He said the lifesaver stayed in the area to prevent the men from surfing, but one of the surfers hit his board as he caught a wave.
The move apparently resulted in the surfer receiving a ding to his own board.
The surfer then allegedly became angry and grabbed the life saver by the arm, yelled at him and attempted to throw a punch.
"He's just trying to do his job as a volunteer, as a life saver, they all knew they shouldn't have been there, they were just trying to catch better waves," Mr Williams said.
"Life savers just shouldn't be copping this crap."
Four more life savers, including another on a board and two in an RIB, also attended before the surfers finally left the no-craft zone.
SLSQ Gold Coast life saving co-ordinator Nathan Fife said the incident was disappointing as most surfers were compliant when being asked to leave the area.
"Our lifesavers are patrolling the red and yellow flags for the public so they can keep them safe and enjoy swimming without danger, but some surfers come too close to the flags, even though there's a lot of areas for surfers to surf" he said.
"These volunteers have given up their free time to make sure swimmers are being kept safe on the beach."