NSW Lifesavers Nationally Recognised At Awards of Excellence

Congratulations to NSW clubbies Andy Cross (South Narrabeen) and Jack Patison (Austinmer) on being named national winners at the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence over the weekend.

Former lifesaver of the year, Andy Cross was named the DHL Volunteer of the Year. The judging panel praised his broad contribution to the club through more than 810 volunteer hours this year. He has served as the Chief Training Officer and Assessor for the club and organised all its junior activities.

He is also involved in water safety for nippers, organising junior club activities, a carnival official and announcer. Andy designed and organised a surf lifesaving challenge for a TV reality show of which South Narrabeen was the host club.

Austinmer’s Jack Patison was named the Surf Sports Coach of the Year. This season saw Jack’s coaching prowess reach great heights and it resulted in the most competitive season for the Austinmer SLSC surfboat crews in their history.

Jack’s training regime ensured all Austinmer crews were at their peak performance for the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships where the club won the overall point score for surf boat racing at the National Titles.

Jack is also the club President as well as Austinmer’s overall coach and spends a lot of time and effort honing the skills of many club members in all disciplines, not just surfboats.

Further testimony to his dedication is the fact that although Jack is exempt from patrol duties he still managed to complete 34.5 hours volunteer patrol hours on the beach.

Surf Life Saving Australia President Graham Ford congratulated all award winners and nominees and paid tribute to the thousands across Australia who dedicate their time, effort and expertise to their local clubs.

“We are so fortunate as an organisation to be built upon the incredibly selfless work and effort of our members all around the country. The awards have been shared among the states and that is a true reflection of what an outstanding national organisation Surf Life Saving is,” Mr Ford said.

“Surf Life Saving plays a significant role in our culture and community and one which can never be under-estimated. This is reflected in the awards of merit handed out to our brave men and women who have saved lives on our beaches and continue to keep Australia safe.”

Members of the South Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club including Chris Gale, Jacinta Paquay, Angie Thorpe, Rohan Fisher, Peter Madden and Sean Coutts were also awarded a Meritorious Award for going beyond the call of duty to save a life.

During patrol a swimmer was stung by a bluebottle and suffered an allergic reaction going into anaphylactic shock and stopped breathing. With no Epipen patrol member Chris Gale went to his house just down road and got one of two Epipen pens he has for his son. The Epipen was given and CPR and Defibrillation stopped as the patient regained breathing and consciousness as the ambulance arrived.

During this incident the other members of the patrol were attending to a 62 yr man with breathing and heart problems on the water’s edge 100m from the club.

Congratulations to all recipients and award winners this year once again highlighting the continued strength of surf life saving in NSW.

Photos: Andy Cross after winning the National DHL Volunteer of the Year award. Jack Patison receiving his Surf Sports Coach of the Year award

Mon 27 Oct 2014