On Wednesday 20 September 2017, Elliot Heads 13SURF beacon received a call at 6.46pm describing four tourists had been trapped on Doctor May’s Island due to the incoming tide. Jamie Findlay actioned Riley McGregor and Elliot Heads Surf Life Saving Club to assist with the retrieval of the tourists.
The two male and two female tourists had walked over to the island at low tide and not realised how quickly the tide would rise. One of them tried to swim across to the mainland but the current was too strong and returned back to the Island.
The tourists were able to contact the nearby Driftwood Café to explain their predicament. Jamie was then able to contact the tourists and explained surf lifesavers were on their way. Meanwhile, Donna and Jason Wall from Elliot Heads SLSC had readied the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) for Jamie and Riley.
Utilising the ATV headlights and headlamps, Jamie and Riley drove the IRB from Elliot Head Beach 200m out to sea and then 250m south to the Elliot Heads river mouth, navigating around the rock wall. Liaising with the original caller, the IRB was directed to the trapped tourists.
Once locating the tourists, Jamie and Riley transported the two female patients across to the mainland before returning to collect the two male patients. After assessing the conditions of the patients, Jamie advised them to download the BeachSafe App and to swim at a patrolled beach during patrol hours.
This rescue highlights the teamwork and bravery of all lifesavers involved and the importance of 13 Surf.