From the Golf Course to the Sea

Two brothers interrupted their afternoon game of golf to go to the assistance of a spear fisherman at Little Bay in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

Apart from treating a minor cut while on patrol, Coogee lifesaver Josh Beard had never been involved with a rescue before so it was the last thing on his mind while watching his father and brother play golf at The Coast Club, Little Bay on Sunday afternoon (22 Feb).

“I was just walking along with the others watching their game as I’ve recently had knee surgery so I’m still recovering from that. We heard a voice calling out for help so we rushed down to see what was going on,” Beard said.

What the 21-year-old saw next was a confusing scene.

“There was a spear fisherman who had got into difficulty and was having problems getting back to shore. He was wearing a wetsuit, was carrying his spear gun and had a flotation type device, but was clearly struggling out the back.

“There was a huge crowd of people just milling around and not doing anything to assist.”

Younger brother James (18) had raced ahead and was already entering the water by the time Josh got there. The two brothers then swam out to the diver who had drifted about 100 metres off-shore by this point.

Conditions weren’t as rough as they were earlier that week, but the swell was still quite choppy according to Josh.

“I think the guy was relieved to see us, but also a bit embarrassed about calling for help. We got him to shore and thankfully he was ok,” he said.

Josh said he was proud to be able to help someone out alongside his brother, and said that it was important for anyone who gets into difficulty in the water to attract the attention of bystanders.

“It was lucky my brother and I were able to do the rescue – but I do think we were in the right place at the right time.

“What this incident shows is that you should never be afraid to call or signal for help if you need it. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

And as for the golf game?

Well after missing just the one hole the boys and their father were straight back into the game.

Tue 24 Feb 2015