Nowra-Culburra Lifesavers Awarded Rescue of the Month

Members from Nowra-Culburra SLSC have deservedly been awarded the Rescue of the Month for July-August 2013.

At 1.40pm on Monday 24 August 2013 the Surf Emergency Response System was activated to respond to an overturned boat at the mouth of the Crookhaven River. Wind at this time was gusting from a West nor West direction at around 80km/hour, producing large waves and challenging environmental conditions.

Branch Duty Officer Glenn Matthews immediately activated call out squad members from Nowra-Culburra SLSC, with Mitchell and Josh Pakes responding. Within 10 minutes of the activation, Nowra-Culburra SLSC had an IRB ready to launch.

The IRB was launched and proceeded immediately to the mouth of the river. The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter was also tasked to the scene by SurfCom. Upon the IRBs arrival, the Shoalhaven Marine Rescue IRB had rescued one male from the water. Both rescue vessels headed back towards the boat ramp.

Upon arrival at the boat ramp, it was confirmed that there were two people on board the upturned vessel and that the rescued male had lost sight of his female companion when the vessel sunk. The Nowra-Culburra IRB responded back the river mouth and began a search pattern around the break wall and rocky edges. A lifejacket and an esky were retrieved, but the female remained missing.

After 10 minutes of searching the rough and choppy water, it was confirmed by Police that the female had managed to make it to the rocks by herself and had climbed up to meet them at a nearby car park. With all persons accounted for, the IRB crew were officially stood down and they retreated from the strong gusty winds and large choppy waves.

This rescue demonstrated a professional, effective and coordinated search and rescue between surf lifesaving assets and other emergency agencies such as Shoalhaven Local Area Police Command, NSW Ambulance Service and Shoalhaven Marine Rescue to achieve a successful outcome.

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

Rescue of the Month recipients at state level receive a $400 Surf Store credit, a pair of waterproof binoculars, a plaque and a framed citation.

For more information and to view past recipients please visit the Rescue of the Month Recognition Page.

Thu 19 Sep 2013