FOOTAGE of a struggling surfer being plucked from a rip near the Maroochy River by the passing AGL Rescue Helicopter has reaffirmed calls for beachgoers to be more cautious out on the water.

On Sunday about 5pm the man, aged in his 30s, got caught in rips near the mouth of the Maroochy River and was unable to make his way to shore.

The AGL Rescue Helicopter, which had been conduction a beach patrol on its return to base from Brisbane, spotted the surfer in trouble.

The crowd on the nearby beach grew as the helicopter lowered a winch to the fatigued man.

He was hoisted up, holding on to his surfboard as he skimmed about 100m across the water to be dropped off on the beach.

Witnesses who spoke to the surfer said had been surfing with friends on Maroochydore Beach before he realised how far along the current had taken him.

They said he seemed in good spirits following the rescue and managed to walk away unaided.

The incident has surf life savers calling on beach goers to be more cautious on the water.

Sunshine Coast Council lifeguard Ryan Abdy said swimmers and surfers should always be cautious of the ever changing water conditions.

“Going out near the river mouth, be it surfing or fishing, is always risky,” Mr Abdy said.

“Because conditions have been cool and calm lately so it gives people a false sense of security when the waves pick up.

“There has been some ocean swell of 1 metre to 1.5 metres this last week.”

Mr Abdy recommended anyone surfing to go with a friends and to always tell someone where you are going.

In another water related incident on Sunday, fisherman Brian Wright was knocked off tinny by a surprise “white-cap”.

His cries for help were heard by angler James Courtney.

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