Six surf lifesavers from Emu Park SLSC (QLD), Surf Life Saving Central Coast (NSW) and the Australian Lifeguard Service in QLD were officially recognised at Parliament House today with National Rescue of the Month Awards for July/August, September and October respectively.
The ceremony was attended by Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving, the Hon Sarah Henderson MP, Member for Corangamite, and the Hon Matt Thistlewaite MP, Member for Kingsford Smith, with a host of key Federal Members attending the ceremony.
To celebrate the launch of the summer patrol season Nippers from Broulee SLSC also joined the ceremony, proudly wearing their colours to support beach safety.
SLSA Advisory Chair of Lifesaving Chris Jacobson announced the awards “Surf Life Saving Australia’s Rescue of the Month recognises incredible and courageous acts of service in saving lives.”
“The members who we honour here today used their training and skills gained as lifesavers to ensure that four people were able to return home to their loved ones” he said.
Surf Life Saving Australia President, Graham Ford AM reminded Members of Parliament and the general public to swim at patrolled beaches and between the red and yellow flags this season.
“The iconic red and yellow flags of Surf Life Saving, and the lifesavers that vigilantly patrol our beaches are part of a movement dedicated to saving lives just like these brave individuals who have been honoured with Awards today”
“As the weather heats up always swim at a patrolled beach, in between the red and yellow flags because if we can’t see you, we can’t save you!” he said.
Surf Life Saving Australia’s Rescue of the Month is a national initiative that recognises the courageous and outstanding achievements our surf lifesavers and members perform on our coastal waterways every single day.
July/August Rescue of the Month – Emu Park SLSC
In July 2018, Max Tapp, a 16-year-old volunteer lifesaver from Emu park SLSC was holidaying with his family on the Gold Coast. At 2.40pm on Saturday 12 July, Max came across two men attempting to perform CPR on their friend at the Currumbin Creek boat ramp. The two men were flustered and clearly not CPR trained. Max calmly intervened getting the two men to step aside while he completed a quick assessment of the situation. He determined the man was unresponsive before clearing the man’s airway and checking for breathing. Having realised that the man was not breathing, Max commenced CPR, instructing a friend who was with him at the scene, to assist in providing rescue breaths. They kept this going for approximately 10 minutes until the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) arrived. The QAS arrived and took over, introducing oxygen and a defibrillator and the man eventually began to breathe again. Thanks to the first aid skills acquired through his Bronze Medallion training, Max was capable of performing this critical resuscitation with confidence and skill.
September Rescue of the Month – Surf Life Saving Central Coast
On Saturday 15th September at 12:11pm, an emergency call was received by Central Coast Branch Duty Officers after two teenagers, who had jumped from rocks near Snapper Cave, were cut-off by a rising tide and rough sea conditions. Surf lifesavers Brianna Coyte and Sean Leicester launched a rescue watercraft from The Lakes SLSC and made their way to the remote cave, closely followed by surf lifesavers Anthony Smith and Gavin Brown in an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB). Brianna Coyte was dropped at the entrance of the cave where she skilfully navigated the challenging waters to reach the pair trapped in the cave. Brianna was able to coax the teenagers into putting on lifejackets and, using her surf awareness, was able to assist them one at a time out of the cave. Once out of the cave, the pair were transferred onto the awaiting IRB and taken to Fraser Beach park. Both patients were assessed and declared unharmed. This operation was an example of excellent coordination of skilled lifesavers and cooperation between agencies resulting in the successful rescue of the two teenagers.
October Rescue of the Month – Australian Lifeguard Service QLD
On Monday 15 October at 7:46am, off-duty lifeguard Thomas Cervi was out surfing when he noticed an unconscious person floating near the rocks at Dolphin Point. Thomas swam through powerful surf to the victim but was unable to tow the person out to a safe zone. Thomas made the decision to hoist the victim up onto the rocky foreshore. Bystanders at the top of the rocks tried to assist but were unable to reach the pair. In the process, one bystander got swept into the area with Thomas and the victim. Thomas single-handedly aided the fallen bystander out of the danger zone while simultaneously supporting the unconscious victim. • A lifeguard arrived on an RWC and threw Thomas a rescue tube. One of Thomas’ friends also entered the surf and tried to assist by tying together a leg rope from a surf board to the end of the rescue tube for extra length. After fifteen minutes of supporting the patient, Thomas was able to throw the rope to the bystanders on the rocks, who lifted the patient onto the rock shelf. Once out of the water, Thomas and another lifeguard who arrived on an SSV, administered CPR. This rescue highlights Thomas’ tremendous skills, bravery and courage.