Governor-General Presents National Award To Lifesavers

Surf Lifesavers from Manly, North Steyne and North Bondi Surf Clubs were today recognised for their rescue efforts receiving the prestigious National Rescue of the Month award.

The ceremony took place at the Bondi Office of Surf Life Saving Australia and was timed to be a part of the festivities to celebrate the re-opening of the organisation’s Bondi headquarters.

Michele Kaye and Nigel Kassulke (Manly LSC) and Yao Xen Tan (North Steyne SLSC) received their award when they revived a swimmer after patrol hours. The swimmer was brought to shore not breathing by local surfers at Manly Beach on Saturday 13 February with all lifesavers involved playing a role in the successful rescue effort.

North Bondi’s Patrol 14 captained by Simon King and Karen Sheppard were the April recipients thanks to their efforts on Saturday 23 April rescuing multiple swimmers from the permanent rip at the northern end of Bondi Beach. At the time the beach was closed due to hazardous conditions.

Thursday’s ceremony was an amazing thrill for the NSW surf lifesavers who received their National award from His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

“It was lovely to be recognised in the way that we were and certainly by the number of strangers who came up to shake our hands and thank us for what we do was wonderful,” North Bondi surf lifesaver Garry Pendergast said.

“Meeting the Governor-General and receiving the award from him was my highlight of the ceremony and I think for many it would’ve been the same.”

This morning’s ceremony for Yao Xen Tan and his fellow Manly Beach surf lifesavers was special due to the circumstances of their rescue and coming together from different surf clubs to work together.

“It was great to see Michele and Nigel for the first time after the rescue, I felt a sense of togetherness receiving the award with them knowing we saved someone’s life,” Yao Xen Tan said.

The efforts by these surf lifesavers in their respective rescues highlights the amount of skill and dedication shown when patrolling their beaches.

“Our patrol is thrilled to be recognised for doing what we do every week and we love what we do. The fact that someone has put their hand up and said we did a really great job is fantastic,” Garry Pendergast concluded.

The next National Rescue of the Month Ceremony will be held at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 22 September with Macksville-Scotts Head SLSC to receive recognition for their May/June rescue.

Top photo: North Bondi Patrol 14 receiving their National Rescue of the Month award from the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and SLSA President Graham Ford AM.
Bottom photo: Nigel Kassulke, Michele Kaye (Manly LSC) and Yao Xen Tan (North Steyne SLSC) at this mornings ceremony with the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and SLSA President Graham Ford AM.

Thu 25 Aug 2016