ABC host narrowly escapes death after common act at a beach - as she comes under fire over a very simple suggestion

Local surfer rescues former politician Bruce Baird ABC journalist's comments spark debate onlineREAD MORE: BYD Seal electric vehicle owner's embarrassing mistake on Perth's City Beach 

An ABC broadcaster and her family narrowly escaped death after they were sucked into a dangerous rip while swimming at an unpatrolled beach.

Australian journalist Julia Baird was with her family at Spoon Bay, on the NSW Central Coast, when they were swept out to sea last weekend.

Baird and her brother Steve managed to climb onto nearby rocks, however their 82-year-old father Bruce, who is a former Liberal Party deputy leader, wasn't so lucky.

Local surfer Josh Roden, 30, grabbed a beach rescue tube and rescued Baird's exhausted father after hearing cries for help.

Baird, who is the host of the 'Not Stupid' podcast, lashed out at the lack of signs at and took to social media to demand warnings be installed along the coastline.

Her plea sparked outrage with some saying it was impossible to erect signs at every beach and that she should've known the risks of swimming at an unpatrolled site.

Josh Roden, 30, grabbed a beach rescue tube and rescued Baird's exhausted father after hearing cries for help

Josh Roden, 30, grabbed a beach rescue tube and rescued Baird's exhausted father after hearing cries for help

Mr Roden recalled the horrifying moment he had to jump into the water to save Baird's father.

'The rip just sucked him right back out to sea and I was like, far out, I'm going to have to jump in here,' he told the ABC.

'So I swam out to him and chucked him the tube.'

Some 35 rescue tube boxes have been installed at high-risk locations on the Central Coast this year.

Mr Roden said he doubted he would have been able to rescue Mr Baird if there were no tubes nearby.

Baird said she has been left feeling overwhelmed by the whole experience.

'I found myself in the middle of a churn. It felt like a whirlpool, it was all kind of turmoil around me,' she said.

'Everything slowed for me, and became very, very clear. I was like this is it, this is how people drown.'

The experienced ocean swimmer said she was unaware so many people have drowned at that spot, which is promoted as 'ideal for swimming' and 'relaxing walks'.

Australian journalist Julia Baird was swimming at Spoon Bay with her family last weekend when they were swept out to sea

Australian journalist Julia Baird was swimming at Spoon Bay with her family last weekend when they were swept out to sea

She said she has been caught in rips before, but nothing like this one.

Baird said she was shocked by the lack of information available for tourists, questioning why there are no warnings in place.

'For all those who've said providing rip signage at unpatrolled beaches is stupid because you swim in the water at your own risk, etc, please consider this,' she wrote on X.

Baird shared a screenshot of a message she had received from another beach-goer who was caught in a rip at Spoon Bay.

'My friend saved a father and son with a random bodyboard there earlier this year,' it read.

'They were standing in chest deep water but got knocked off their feet and the son had a disability and could not swim.

'Very quick thinking on her behalf - she was shaking with adrenaline the whole day'.

Baird shared a photo of a message she had received from another beach-goer who was caught in a rip at Spoon Bay on X

Baird shared a photo of a message she had received from another beach-goer who was caught in a rip at Spoon Bay on X

Some social media users were quick to say Baird seemed 'disproportionately upset'.

'I was lucky enough to live near a beach,' one wrote.

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'I got into trouble and didn't expect help because I was swimming at an unpatrolled beach… I stopped swimming there because it was dangerous.'

'I doubt if the thousands of beaches could be marked in a meaningful way. All beaches I know on the Central Coast have rips,' another added.

'We cross roads at our own risk… only a few places restrict where we do this so strict regulation is not part of the picture,' a third commented.

Baird responded: 'Fascinated to see the [number] of people here who've said "it's the bloody ocean, get over it, your fault for swimming".

'Now, it's up to the rest of us to challenge the complacent idea that rips just happen, and people just drown, and that's just life.'

Central Coast Council has urged people to swim at ocean baths and pools during the winter months.

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