On the afternoon of 4 March 2017 Rachael Eddy had just signed off her patrol at Kurrawa Beach and commenced her evening shift upstairs at the Kurrawa SLSC Bistro.
It was around 6:45pm when a family rushed into the club reception yelling that two of their family members were in trouble in the ocean.
The bistro staff were aware Rachel was a volunteer lifesaver, and quickly alerted her someone was in trouble. She rushed down to the beach and noticed two people approximately 80m offshore caught in one of Kurrawa’s notorious rips.
On arrival at the scene, Rachel discovered a member of the public had picked up a racing board at the surf club and rushed it down to the beach in hope someone would be able to use it.
Rachel assessed the situation, and went into the water on the racing board fully clothed through one metre surf to the two swimmers.
While Rachel was in the water the club Duty Manager had dialled 000 and contacted Queensland Ambulance and Police Services and advised them of the situation.
Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene and the Duty Manager then monitored the rescue to ensure Rachel’s safety and wellbeing.
Rachael arrived at the swimmers and realised one was reasonably calm, however the second swimmer was exhausted and in the initial stages on panic. She prioritised the exhausted patient knowing she wouldn’t be unable to paddle both patients on the racing board, leaving the strong of the two floating on the boogie board.
Leaving the first swimmer in the hands of paramedics on the shore, she turned back around and collected the second patient.
The two patients who were in their twenties, along with their family, are extremely lucky that Rachel was able to use her lifesaving skills to assist them or the outcome of the patients could have been worse.