During their afternoon patrol on Sunday 6 November 2016, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park lifesavers Nicholas Lowe, Lochleigh Thompson and Edward White successfully recovered a paraglider from the rocks at the southern end of Stanwell Park Beach.
At approximately 2:30pm the team noticed a paraglider trapped in the rocks, and immediately launched the IRB. As they got closer to the paraglider they called on their better judgement to determine it was unsafe to attempt a rescue with the swell near the rocks reportedly over six feet.
Lowe, Thompson, and White made their way around to the side of the rocks to determine how they could recover the paraglider, who was holding on to a rock in order to protect himself from the large waves.
Lowe used his initiative bringing scissors from the first aid kit to the rocks, where he climbed over and attempted to cut the man free. Due to the power of the waves and the number of ropes tangled around the man, he attempted to slowly cut through the ropes while Thompson directed orders from above.
The rescue continued until both of the paragliders ankles were freed, allowing Lowe and Thompson to bring the patient up to the top of the rocks. The patient was promptly treated by surf lifesavers and paramedics, however refused to be taken to hospital.
It was initiative and courage that helped the group perform the rescue, risking their own safety to save the man’s life.
The team will be presented with their National Award at the next Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving event.
(Image: Illawara Mercury)