Three groups of surf lifesavers and lifeguards have today been presented with the National Rescue of the Month Award at Parliament House in Canberra.
Members of Parliament, along with award recipients’ family and friends, attended Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving which was co-chaired by Sarah Henderson MP and the Honourable Matt Thistlethwaite MP.
The surf lifesavers and lifeguards from the Queensland Lifeguard Service – Bundaberg Region Council (QLD), Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC (NSW) and Windang SLSC (NSW), were presented with their awards for their outstanding performances in extreme circumstances.
In October, Teisha Towner drew on her nine years of surf life training to avert what would almost certainly have been a terrible loss of life.
A member of the Queensland Lifeguard Service, Teisha was packing up at the end of her patrol shift at Oaks Beach, Burnett Heads, when she noticed two adults and two children being swept out to sea in a rip.
The 21-year-old’s remarkable efforts in bringing them all back safely on a rescue board is testament to her quick-thinking, skill and dedication.
In November, Edward White and Nicholas Lowe were faced with a daunting situation when they noticed a stranded paraglider at the southern end of Stanwell Park Beach. The paraglider was clinging to rocks, tangled in ropes and being hit by crashing waves.
Volunteer Lochleigh Thomson played a crucial role in the rescue. The teenager made his way to the scene across the rocks and was able to cut through thick ropes to help free the paraglider. Lochleigh battled pounding surf to complete the rescue and ensure the paraglider survived his ordeal.
The December award showed the outstanding ability of patrol members to work together, fast and effectively utilising a range of rescue craft. Doug Hockey and Kaye Norris were on a roving patrol at the southern end of Windang Beach when they spotted six swimmers being carried out the mouth of Lake Illawarra.
The pair launched into immediate action, but also had the presence of mind to radio for assistance. Patrol Captain Nicholas Di Genni co-ordinated the rescue, tasking Jayson Norris and Russell Trott to deploy the IRB. All six swimmers were brought to shore safely.
Rescue of the Month is a national initiative to recognise the courageous and outstanding achievements that surf lifesavers, lifeguards and members perform on Australia’s coastal waterways every day.
“These awards are a chance for us to celebrate some of the great work our people do on our coastline all around Australia as well as recognising the Federal Government for their continued support of our great movement,” said Surf Life Saving President Graham Ford AM.