After Hour Rescues Highlight Importance Of Lifesavers

Were it not for the quick thinking and determination of a team of volunteer surf lifesavers from North Wollongong and Avoca Beach clubs afterhours on the weekend, two serious incidents could very well have turned out to be fatal.

It was shortly after 6pm on Sunday and a group of members were enjoying a Christmas function at North Wollongong clubhouse when they were alerted to an incident involving a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl who had become distressed while swimming in the water.

The off-duty volunteers were quick to respond launching three rescue boards and an IRB within a very short space of time. Both children were rescued with the young boy transported to hospital for further observation after witnesses described how he had gone under the water multiple times and had very likely ingested a huge amount of seawater before being hauled to shore.

Those who witnessed the rescue were in unanimous agreement had there not been the timely intervention of the lifesavers the boy would have drowned.

Meanwhile at Avoca Beach on the State’s Central Coast an incident occurred on Saturday night that again reinforced that as a surf lifesaver, you never know when your training and skills could be called on.

Members of the Central Coast lifesaving community (multiple clubs) were attending a function when they were alerted by the State Operations Centre to a young person in difficulty in a rip at around 8pm, and who required immediate rescue.

Subsequent reports confirmed that it was a 19-year-old woman believed to have been jumping off the rocks into the ocean when she got into trouble.

Surf Life Saving assets including rescue boards and an IRB were launched with the swimmer being transported to shore with the aid of a board.

She was assessed by paramedics and transferred to hospital due to excessive water ingestion.

NSW Operations Officer Andy Kent praised the efforts of the attending lifesavers.

“These lifesavers did an absolutely fantastic job under very trying circumstances. Both incidents took place in fading light, and it was very lucky for the people rescued that our members were there.

“It was very much a case of right place, right time, and all of the training of our members kicked in and without their intervention there is no doubt that these situations could have ended in tragedy,” Mr Kent concluded.

Mon 19 Dec 2016