AFL star Patrick Dangerfield is being hailed a hero after helping to rescue a young girl from a dangerous rip in Moggs Creek in Victoria.
The Geelong Cats star was playing with his family at Fairhaven beach on Sunday when he said a woman pointed out some people struggling in the water.
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Dangerfield immediately grabbed a surfboard and went out to see if he could help.
An 11-year-old girl and two other women were rescued from the water thanks to the help provided by Dangerfield.
An AFL hero has become a real life hero, rescuing two women and an 11-year-old girl swept out to sea at Moggs Creek.
Patrick Dangerfield leapt into action on Sunday, using a surfboard to keep them afloat in a powerful swell hundreds of metres offshore. @penelopeliersch #9News pic.twitter.com/AGlneSaLxq
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 21, 2022
"They were caught in a rip, which is something that happens along that coast quite often," he told the ABC.
"I basically just went out there and tried to help them where I could."
Staggering footage from Surf Life Saving Victoria has since emerged of the moment Dangerfield got to Julie Sebkova, her daughter Josephine Felber, and a friend.
The AFL star kept them afloat for about 15 minutes before lifeguards arrived on a jet ski.
"It was about calming them down as quickly as possible and waiting for the surf lifesavers to get there and to pull them in and [then] the ambos, who do an incredible job," he said.
Ms Sebkova told 9News: "He said: 'hold onto my foot, we will get through this',"
"I gave Josephine a big hug, my friend a big hug, I gave him a big hug, I couldn't thank him enough."
Patrick Dangerfield hailed a hero after surf rescue
The trio were assessed by paramedics but were given the all-clear.
"Luckily the family's all okay and that's the important thing," Dangerfield said.
"It's important to be careful but at the same time, these things happen and the ocean is a powerful beast and it was just an unfortunate set of circumstances but the main thing is they are all okay and don't have a fear of the ocean after that.
"We are very lucky to have the surf lifesavers we do."
11-year-old Josephine said Dangerfield later paid the family a visit to make sure they were all okay.
"If you live along the beach long enough then you're going to experience those different things throughout the course of your life and there's going to be times when you're called up to get out there quickly and then the lifesavers will arrive if they're close by," Dangerfield told the ABC.
"If you see someone, you've got a responsibility - if you can, if you're able - to help them out."
Lifeguard Samuel Ord told 9News: "It's a very brave and selfless thing he did and something we don't recommend you do if you're not confident in your surf abilities."
Dangerfield has played 275 AFL games - 154 for the Adelaide Crows and 121 for Geelong.
After eight years with the Crows he returned home to Geelong in 2016 and lives with his family in Moggs Creek.
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