Coffs Harbour Clubbies Honoured For Rescue Efforts

A group of surf lifesavers from Coffs Harbour involved in the attempted rescue and resuscitation of two swimmers off North Wall Beach in the state’s north have been recognised for their efforts with the prestigious NSW Rescue of the Month award for March 2016.

On Tuesday 22 March at 3:45pm, a member of public alerted brothers Lachlan and Sean O’Reilly who were in the carpark ahead of their afternoon training session that two swimmers were struggling in a strong rip off the popular beach.

Instinctively Lachlan took his board from his car and ran to the water’s edge while Sean notified the Coffs Harbour Council Lifeguards who were patrolling Park Beach which was to the north of where the incident occurred about the situation.

When Lachlan got to the water’s edge he noticed that one of the swimmers had already been rescued but appeared to be unconscious. Lachlan asked the members of the public to provide CPR while he handled the communication with ambulance officers over the phone in order to ensure that the swimmer was being correctly treated.

Lachlan and Sean then entered the water in an attempt to rescue the remaining swimmer. The pair had to paddle out and negotiate a heavy shore dump to get to the stricken man. They found him at the head of the rip and as they reached the scene they decided the best course of action was to perform an unconscious rollover. After which, they were able to get the man back to the shore.

The two carried the unconscious swimmer to a safe spot on the sand where they and commenced CPR with the aid of fellow club members including the father and son pairing of Warren and Jack Pavey along with Mark Beavis.

The group of lifesavers continued CPR on both unconscious swimmers but unfortunately neither man was able to be revived.

“When Lachlan and Sean brought the second swimmer to shore I ran down and helped them bring him up the beach and immediately started compressions,” Jack Pavey said.

“We’re all very proud of everyone’s efforts on the day and it’s great for our club and members to receive this recognition. It’s just a shame we didn’t get a better result,” said Head Coach Mark Beavis.

“Coffs Harbour SLSC sends their condolences to the swimmers’ families and we remind swimmers to always swim between the red and yellow flags.”

The SLSNSW Rescue of the Month aims to recognise excellence in lifesaving. Each month a ‘Rescue of the Month’ is awarded at State level for the most outstanding rescue performance for that period. Monthly winners have the chance to win the Australian Rescue of the Month and become finalists for the SLSNSW Rescue of the Year which is presented at the annual Awards of Excellence.

For official citations and past recipients please visit the Rescue of the Month Recognition Page.

Fri 22 Apr 2016