The National Rescue of the Month for March 2016 has been awarded to Gunnamatta SLSC members Jack Nicol, Paul Nicol, Kayla Ryan, Zac Comley and Ben Jones for their incredible rescue at the end of last month.
At around 3.30pm, the team responded to an incident where a male believed to be around 50 years old was injured in a 1.5m shore break.
The lifesavers witnessed him getting sucked up and slammed head first into the sand in a large and unexpected shore dump, while body surfing with his son.
After the lifesavers found the patient face down and unconscious they removed him from the water and cleared his airways, keeping in mind that the patient may have received spinal injuries.
After determining that he didn’t require CPR, the team maintained head/spinal support and oxygen as he gained consciousness.
They arranged for an ambulance and carried him via spinal board to the vehicle.
Patient has survived but injuries are still unknown.
In the weeks after the incident the patient reached out via Facebook making the public statements below:
8 April 2016
…I really have to thank the following people so far: Ben at the Gunnamatta Surf Lifesaving Club for dragging me out of the water and saving my life and then patiently holding my head still for nearly half an hour, waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Thank you to all the other members of the GSLSC for their unbelievable help in this situation…
12 April 2016
Since the last post, I have managed to track down and meet 5 of my 8 saviours. We had the amazing privilege of meeting and talking and exchanging stories this Sunday past. All I can say is that Jack Nicol, Ben Jones, Jacqui Dreher and Kayla Ryan ages 21, 18, 18 and 19 respectively are four of the most amazing, level headed, attentive, fearless, caring leaders that I’ve ever met, and I realise now why I’m alive.
The team of lifesavers will be presented with their awards at the quarterly Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving at Parliament House in June.