Illawarra Lifesavers Receive National Award

Surf lifesavers from two Illawarra Surf Clubs were presented with their National Rescue of the Month awards on Thursday morning at Parliament House, Canberra.

Helensburgh-Stanwell Park and Windang SLSCs achieved national recognition thanks to their courageous rescue efforts in November and December respectively.

The surf lifesavers received their award from Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving Co-Chairs Matt Thistlethwaite MP and Sarah Henderson MP, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird and Surf Life Saving Australia President Graham Ford AM.

Helensburgh-Stanwell Park surf lifesavers Lochleigh Thomson, Edward White and Nicolas Lowe rescued a stranded paraglider from the southern end of Stanwell Park Beach on 6 November 2016.

The paraglider was tangled in his ropes and was holding onto rocks in the ocean to protect himself from the hazardous swell.

The three members risked their lives to free the male and safely return him to the beach where he was treated by their fellow patrolling members and paramedics.

Lochleigh Thomson and Club President Steven McDonald received the award on behalf of Helensburgh-Stanwell Park.

Meanwhile, Windang surf lifesavers Nick Digenni, Kaye Norris, Jayson Norris, Doug Hockey and Russell Trott who were involved in successfully rescuing a group of swimmers proudly accepted their national award.

Kaye Norris and Doug Hockey were on a roving patrol on Boxing Day and spotted swimmers going out with the tide who needed urgent assistance. The pair radioed their fellow patrolling members to help as there were six swimmers battling the dangerous surf conditions.

The lifesavers worked exceptionally well together, using a wide range of rescue equipment and craft to retrieve the struggling swimmers who were being pushed out to sea at the southern end of Windang Beach near the break wall.

Read the full rescue citations here.

The next National Rescue of the Month ceremony will be held on 15 June 2017 with January, February and March winners being presented.

Photo: Lochleigh Thomson and Windang members with Ministers of Parliament and SLSA President Graham Ford AM.

Thu 9 Feb 2017