National Rescue of the Month
Dongara Denison SLSC
TRAVIS OWEN, TAYLOR BROWN, DANIEL MCGUINESS, AND DECLAN RIDLEY
On 19 August 2016 Travis Owen, Taylor Brown, Daniel McGuiness, and Declan Ridley were at South Beach, Port Denison, when they noticed a fisherman in a small dinghy approximately 300-metres offshore in large swell.
While they were watching, a large wave overturned the boat throwing the fisherman into the ocean.
Travis called his brother to come down to the surf club with the key to the shed, and made some more calls to report the incident.
The two surf lifesavers paddled through the big swell and cold conditions to reach the fisherman who was sitting on top of his overturned boat.
Travis put the fisherman onto the rescue board and paddled him into shore where they were met by police. Without the quick response and direct action of the surf lifesavers the outcome could have been far more tragic for the patient.
JENNI DARWIN AND GRAEME CARROLL
On Friday 2 September Jenni Darwin was running along the Ettalong Beach foreshore when a couple ran out of a house carrying a baby in their arms panicking and calling for someone who knew CPR.
Jenni ran to their assistance and started performing CPR on the baby. Jenni attempted to open the airway to try to see why the baby girl was choking.
Fellow lifesaver Graeme Carroll who was walking his dogs nearby came over to help. The baby’s condition worsened, and her skin began to turn blue. Graeme cleared her airway and delivered two short rescue breaths.
After two cycles of CPR by Jenni and Graeme the baby began to draw breath. Jenni carried her into the house and monitored her condition while Graeme called Triple Zero.
The combined efforts of Jenni and Graeme to use the CPR skills learnt as surf lifesavers enabled them to save this child’s life.
QUEENSLAND LIFEGUARD SERVICE – BUNDABERG REGION COUNCIL
On Saturday 1 October 2016 at 5.15pm Teisha Towner was packing up after her lifeguard shift at Oaks Beach, Burnett Heads, when she noticed four people being quickly swept away in a rip current.
Teisha grabbed a rescue board and paddled out through rough conditions to the two children and two adults who were struggling to remain above the waterline. Two of the patients grabbed onto the rescue board, while the other two needed assistance to latch on to the board.
Unable to paddle the board back to shore, Teisha managed to squeeze the children on top of the board and float towards the safety of nearby rocks. Paramedics arrived and assessed the patient’s wellbeing whom were all in good health, albeit a little upset and shaken up from the rescue.
Without the direct action and advance rescue skills displayed by Teisha the outcome of the swimmers could have been severely worse.
HELENSBURGH-STANWELL PARK SLSC
NICHOLAS LOWE, LOCHLEIGH THOMSON, AND EDWARD WHITE
On Sunday 6 November, at approximately 2:30pm, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Patrol 3 noticed a paraglider stranded on the rocks. Edward White and Nicholas Lowe immediately launched the IRB. As they drove closer to the paraglider they decided it was unsafe to attempt a rescue due to the rocks.
Edward and Nicholas returned to shore and went over the rocks with Lochleigh Thomson to rescue the paraglider. The man was attempting to hold onto a rock to protect himself from the large waves.
Lochleigh and Nicholas climbed further around the rocks to assist the paraglider. There were several ropes tangled around the patient, so in between the crashing waves, Nicholas cut the ropes to slowly release him. Once free, they safely climbed across the rocks back to the beach.
The quick thinking and courage shown by these members of Patrol 3 was the key to this rescue, as they endured testing conditions to help the patient.
DOUG HOCKEY, KAYE NORRIS, RUSSELL TROTT, JAYSON NORRIS, AND NICHOLAS DI GENNI
On Monday 26 December 2016, Doug Hockey and Kaye Norris were on a roving patrol at the southern end of Windang beach when they noticed six swimmers being carried out of the Lake Illawarra mouth.
Acting immediately, both members carried a rescue board down the rock wall allowing Doug to paddle out to the swimmers. Kaye radioed for further assistance before entering the water with a rescue tube.
Doug secured four patients to his rescue board as they continued with the tide across the bar to the open sea. Kaye managed to keep the other two swimmers afloat by resting them on her rescue tube.
Patrol Captain Nicholas Di Genni who was co-ordinating the rescue, tasked Jayson Norris and Russell Trott to deploy the IRB. Navigating through rough conditions the IRB undertook three separate runs to ensure all swimmers returned to shore safely.
Without the swift actions and experienced lifesaving skills demonstrated by all members the outcome for the swimmers could have been worse.
NORTH WOLLONGONG SLSC
KEVIN RYAN, KIERAN MCKAY, LACHLAN KIMBERLEY, PAUL HANRAHAN, LACHLAN SWEENY, BLAKE MCKAY, BRITTANY TAPIA, HELEN TAPIA AND LANCELOT TARRANT
On Monday 2 January 2017, just before 5:30pm North Wollongong surf lifesavers successfully rescued four swimmers near the rocks at North Wollongong Beach.
Members of Patrol 4 were packing up after finishing an IRB training session when they were alerted to an incident at the northern end of the beach.
Lachlan Sweeney grabbed a rescue tube and swam out while Kieran McKay followed on a rescue board. Patrol Captain Kevin Ryan launched an IRB with Lachlan Kimberley and the help of some bystanders.
It became apparent that one man was losing consciousness, so the surf lifesavers prioritised his safety and lifted him into the IRB. Sweeny safely returned two of the struggling swimmers to the beach before Ryan and Kimberley picked up the last remaining swimmer in the IRB.
Oxygen therapy was administered to the swimmers on return to shore, which improved the patient’s condition.
This rescue highlights teamwork and assertiveness shown by Patrol 4 to save the lives of these beachgoers.
COOKS HILL SLSC
On Sunday 12 February at approximately 5:30pm, Cooks Hill Surf Club Patrol 1 had signed off. Patrol Captain Mark Doherty entered the clubroom and sat down to debrief with his team when he was notified of two children caught in a rip.
He ran downstairs to unlock the board room, quickly changed and grabbed a rescue board.
Mark sprinted down to the rip, and as he began to paddle through one metre surf, he noticed the children’s father had also entered the water to assist them.
He reached the children and paddled back towards the shore. After noticing the father was not making any ground, Mark turned around to collect him.
Mark had the two children on the front of the board and the father hanging onto the side as he padded to the shallow sand-filled reef.
Once ashore he assessed the condition of the patients and provided safety advice regarding swimming between the flags, rip currents and gutters, and the danger of swimming at Bar Beach.
Without his swift actions, pro-active thinking, and lifesaving ability the outcome could have been much worse for the young family.
On the afternoon of 4 March 2017 Rachel Eddy had just signed off her patrol at Kurrawa Beach and commenced her evening shift upstairs at the Kurrawa SLSC Bistro.
Around 6:45pm a family rushed into the club reception yelling that two of their family members were in trouble in the ocean.
Rachel was alerted and rushed down to the beach, noticing two people approximately 80m offshore.
On arrival, Rachel discovered a member of the public had picked up a racing board from the surf club and rushed it down to the beach.
She assessed the situation and went into the water on the racing board fully clothed through one metre surf to the
Rachel arrived at the swimmers and prioritised the exhausted patient knowing she wouldn’t be able to paddle both patients on the racing board, leaving the stronger of the two floating on a boogie board.
She left the first swimmer in the hands of paramedics on the shore, and turned back around to collect the second patient.
The two patients were extremely lucky that Rachel used her lifesaving skills to assist them, or the outcome may have been worse.
MERMAID BEACH AEME SLSC
On the afternoon of 16 April 2017, Nipper Jayke Menefy and his family were traveling along Teewah Beach in their 4WD when they noticed a group of distressed adults and children at the water’s edge.
A man was caught in a rip and struggling with the conditions. Jayke took a surfboard into the water and paddled out to collect him.
Jayke assisted the exhausted man in grabbing the surfboard rails then tried to paddle parallel to the beach to escape the rip. He managed to paddle to the edge of the rip, however he was unable to catch a wave in.
Two men on boogie boards with flippers came out to assist however also had difficulties as there was a lot of water movement.
A man on the beach assisted with a length of string tied to a plastic container. They were then dragged back to the beach.
Without direct response from Jayke, and his surf rescue skills, the outcome for the man could have been worse.
NOOSA HEADS SLSC
ROBERT ‘RJ’ LEMON
On 26 June 2017, Robert ‘RJ’ Lemon noticed signs of distress from his friend Sam, who was spearfishing 80 metres off the coast of Noosa National Park.
RJ responded immediately, diving off the rocks and swimming quickly to Sam. He discovered a stingray barb was driven clean through Sam’s leg from one side to the other and he was being dragged under by the stingray in its efforts to swim away.
The two fought their way back to the rocks and were helped from the water by a friend, Milo. They pulled Sam, the stingray and the spearfishing gear out of the water, both still connected to his leg.
A passing park ranger called paramedics. RJ used a knife from the ranger to sever the stingray’s tail preventing further damage to the wound. RJ and Milo carried Sam to the pathway to be treated by the paramedics.
The quick decision making and rescue skills demonstrated by RJ prevented a fatality.