A 32-year-old female surfer suffered fractures to three vertebrae after being dumped by a wave at Mystics Beach, Killalea State Park, on Tuesday.
Paramedics were called to treat the injured woman about 9.30am.
She was winched from the beach by the Ambulance Rescue Helicopter and taken to Wollongong Hospital with pain to her head, neck and lower extremities.
X-rays confirmed the extent of the woman’s injuries, and she remained in hospital yesterday in a serious but stable condition.
NSW Ambulance spokesman Norman Rees praised the work of emergency services personnel and bystanders who helped retrieve the woman from the water. ‘‘It shows good management by everyone on scene, including the people that moved her out of the surf until ambulance officers could assess her,’’ he said.
‘‘We immobilised her as per suspected spinal injury and then she was airlifted to Wollongong Hospital.’’