A French tourist – only 10 days into his holiday in Australia – has been winched to safety after being swept onto rocks at a popular Sydney beach in the early hours of this morning.

The 38-year-old sustained compound fractures to his left leg after falling at Bronte Beach, in the city’s east, where he spent 30 minutes treading water and screaming for help.

Luckily, a woman passing by in the dead of night heard him and called for help – prompting a dramatic rescue operation.

Police say officers were called to the southern end of the beach about 1.45am today after a woman reported hearing a man about 50m offshore calling for help.

Officers spotted a man on rocks below the cliff and climbed down the cliff to him.

They saw the 38-year-old man had dragged himself out of the water and onto rocks.

He was suffering compound fractures to his left leg and cuts to his right leg.

The police officers had to move the man two to three metres up the rock shelf to escape fierce waves.

They then called the NSW Ambulance helicopter crew to the scene who winched the man to safety.

The two officers had to be winched out as well due to the rising tide blocking their way back.

The man told police he’d fallen into the sea near Bronte Baths and may have been in the water for 30 minutes before his cries for help were heard.

He’s now being treated at Prince of Wales Hospital.