North Narrabeen Clubbie Completes "Home Rescue"

There wasn’t a black cat or ladder in sight but Friday the 13th of February lived up to its quirky reputation for North Narrabeen clubbie Bruce Kelly who was called on to do a rescue on his doorstep.

The 49-year-old longstanding club member was sitting back in his lounge room relaxing at around 7:30pm after a busy day when his wife heard desperate screams for help outside their window.

“Luckily my patrol shorts were still sitting on top of the washing, so I threw them on, grabbed a ski and raced down to the beach to assess the situation,” Mr Kelly said.

When he arrived on the deserted Narrabeen Beach he could see a father and three young children struggling in what appeared to be a strong rip.

“I grabbed my ski and paddled out into the surf where the first person I came to was a 12-year-old child. He seemed to be making reasonably good headway against the conditions so I pointed him in the direction of the sandbank and continued on to rescue his siblings,” he recounted.

“The girl was about 7-years-old and was bobbing up and down so I got her to grab on to one strap while her 9-year-old brother went to the other side. I was lucky enough to catch a wave into the shore, and was just hoping that neither of them would fall off.”

A member of the public who was passing by reassured the 12-year-old who had made it to shore on his own that the situation was under control, but the younger children went into hysterics worrying that their dad wouldn’t be rescued.

“We did our best to reassure the children that their dad would be ok, and then I went back out into the surf,” a modest Mr Kelly said.

Trouble struck when he began to feel the effects of asthma as was paddling through a large set.

“I didn’t feel that great but I knew I had to keep going, and fortunately I was able to get him on the ski and get back to the shore.”

The entire rescue lasted around 20 minutes.

Fortuitously for the family involved in the incident they happened to get into difficulty outside the house of a lifesaver.

“I’m just glad that the family were ok. This situation could have been so much worse if they had drifted a couple of hundred metres either side of my property as we would never have heard them,” said Mr Kelly.

Thu 26 Feb 2015