Big Rescue For Bellambi Lifesavers

The final day of the 2015/16 patrol season was one to remember for a group of lifesavers from Bellambi SLSC who successfully revived a swimmer on Monday.

A dazzlingly blue sky and almost picture perfect weather greeted the members of Patrol Group One who were on hand to ensure that those who journeyed to the beach to commemorate Anzac Day were able to enjoy their time safely.

They were without regular Patrol Captain and club Education Officer Jaclyn Percy who was engaged with Anzac Day commitments, but fortuitously her father Bruce was able to step in and fill the gap.

At a little after 11am the lifesavers noticed that a member of the public was frantically signalling for help at the back of the wave zone.

Immediately the two youngest members of the Patrol Caitlin Joy and Tegan Robertson headed out with a tube and rescue board, while Bruce Percy and Brayden Daly manned the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) to provide further assistance.

Out on the water it was clear that the male swimmer aged in his 30s, a tourist visiting the area from Western Sydney, was in bad shape.

“I managed to get close enough to the incident to allow Brayden to jump into the water, but I had to turn the IRB to the side so we wouldn’t get swamped by waves. I could see that the patient was unconscious and unfortunately we probably wouldn’t be able to get him into the boat,” Bruce Percy said.

“Our two young lifesavers were supporting him with the assistance of the member of the public, and it looked like he was going to go under the water.”

It took the combined efforts of four of the lifesavers to get the man to shore where Oxygen Therapy was administered.

Other lifesavers from the patrol including Susan Joy (radio) and Adam Smithers were involved in this initial treatment.

The man was given oxygen and a defibrillator was applied but a shock wasn’t required.

After an intense 15 minutes the man regained consciousness and attending paramedics were able to stabilise the man before transporting him to hospital in a serious condition.

Bruce Percy was extremely proud of the efforts of his young patrol team.

“There’s no question in my mind that if we hadn’t been able to get to the patient when we did he wouldn’t have made it. He’s one very lucky boy,” Mr Percy said.

“Both Tegan and Caitlin are new Bronze Holders having only got their awards in the last 3 months. This was their first major rescue and they handled it extremely professionally and the wholeteam worked really well together.

“It shows the importance of our education programs that we try and do, and I’m glad we had a great result today and were able to get him out of the water,” he concluded.

General Beach Safety Messages:

At the beach, follow these simple safety tips:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Read the safety signs
  • Ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for safety advice
  • Learn how to identify a rip
  • If you need help, stay calm and attract attention
  • Always wear a lifejacket while rock-fishing
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency call Triple Zero Police
  • For full details on which beaches are patrolled and patrol times please visit the BeachSafe Website or download the app

Photograph - Members of Bellambi's Patrol One including Tegan Robertson, Caitlin Joy, Susan Joy, Bruce Percy, Jaclyn Percy (in uniform), Brayden Daly, Adam Smithers and Brody Robertson are pictured on Anzac Day 2016. Courtesy of Craig Kershaw

Mon 25 Apr 2016