A teenage girl is in a stable condition in hospital after being pulled from the surf at Newcastle Beach.
Ted Bassingthwaite, a spokesman for the group 'Save the Newcastle Lifeguards', says the 15-year-old was helped by a young male surfer, a former member of a local Surf Life Saving Club.
She was treated at the scene by paramedics.
Newcastle Council has come under fire for pushing back the start date for beach patrols by council lifeguards in order to cut $150,000 from the budget.
Mr Bassingthwaite says the savings are not worth it.
"What we're trying to do is just to get the council to revert back to the normal hours of the lifeguards," he said.
"The lifeguards would have been on for the last two weeks.
"Of the four separate drowning incidents that have happened in Newcastle in the last two weeks there would have been a professional lifeguard on duty at Newcastle Beach, as there was last year."
Newcastle, Merewether, Dixon and Stockton beaches are all unpatrolled until this weekend.