Surf Studio: Mitchell Knight
On the latest episode of Surf Studio, we chat to teenage Lifeguard Mitchell Knight from Port Douglas SLSC in North Queensland about the current patrol season in the North and his journey to date in surf lifesaving.
Having grown up in Port Douglas with the Daintree Rainforest in his backyard and the Great Barrier Reef on his doorstep, Mitch thinks that there is no better beach or club in Australia than Port Douglas SLSC.
“From April to November, which is our patrolling season, the weather just seems to put it on for us,” Mitch said of the tropical weather in Far North Queensland.
“We get the beautiful blue skies, the ocean swell picks up a little bit… just really nice beautiful weather.
“The low temperatures would probably be around 22˚C, so perfect all year round.”
From Nippers, to his Bronze medallion, an IRB driver award and now a Drone pilot as part of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue drone program, Mitch says that the capabilities of the drones have given surf lifesavers a whole different perspective on their environment and surroundings.
“I did not realise how many manta rays, stingrays and stuff like that we have around,” Knight said of water surrounding Port Douglas.
“You can always see shadows out the back, most of the time it is just a big clump of sea weed but being able to go over and investigate… a lot of the time it’s been dolphins or eagle rays, manta rays, even whales occasionally.
“It’s been a whole different experience being able to get a birds eye view of the area that you’ve lived in your whole life.”
While young, Mitch has a plethora of skills and experience behind him and notes one rescue in June 2018 just after he had completed his IRB Driver award, as one of the biggest rescue missions of his career thus far.
“That was probably one of my first major rescues and it was straight off the back of getting my drivers award… and we were also at our first carnival of the season down at Mission Beach,” said Knight about the 2018 rescue.
“A call came through initially that an elderly couple had twisted their ankle while walking on the beach…we jumped in the IRB and as we progressed to the area where we were told they were at we start noticing a lot of fire trucks and police vehicles there.
“Sure enough, there was a couple there who had fallen roughly around 20 metres from the lookout.”
Mitch and his fellow IRB crewman liaised with emergency services to help the two elderly patients to be winched too safety by a rescue Helicopter and meanwhile Mitch was able to drive the emergency worker back to land through the dark.
To find out more about how a freshly trained Mitch and his crew mate assisted and helped emergency services rescue the two patients make sure you watch episode six of Surf Studio on the @SLSAustralia Facebook page or at sls.com.au/surf-studio/.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email firstname.lastname@example.org