James said he videotaped the incident to “highlight the problems down there.”
According to 3 News, Dunedin lifeguards have been calling for urgent action to save St. Clair Beach, where erosion has made surfing more dangerous.
James, a former St. Clair resident who was in town to compete in the national surfing championships, told Fairfax Media, “He had a learner board so Jeff warned him to not go surfing as it wasn’t a good day, but if he entered the water to do so farther [down the beach].”
A while later, James and Patton heard the surfer was in trouble, prompting Patton to retrieve his rope and perform yet another rescue.
The surfer had only been in the water 10 minutes before he began fighting the surf against the seawall, St. Clair Surf Life Saving Club chairman James Coombes told the Otago Daily Times.
According to local Barbara Newton, two other foreigners, a male and female, had to be assisted from the surf the day before.