Port Mac Lifesaver Awarded Rescue of the Month

David Carew of Port Macquarie Surf Life Saving Club has deservedly been awarded the Surf Life Saving NSW Rescue of the Month.

At around 10:30am on 9 February 2013, David Carew and his wife were walking along Shelly Beach towards Flynn’s Beach. As David was walking he noticed a lone female swimmer at the northern end of the beach. She was moving out to sea and struggling in the conditions.

David told his wife he was entering the water and quickly went to the patient’s aid using his knowledge of a permanent rip to take him out faster. David said he never doubted his ability, however was unsure how he would support himself and the patient safely back to shore with no rescue equipment.

By the time David reached the patient, she was 80 metres from shore and was struggling to stay afloat. In her distress she clung to David for support. David described the woman as “hysterical” and said it took some time to calm her down, get her to float on her back and catch her breath with David’s support.

David used his knowledge of the beach to choose the safest route back to shore and began to tow the patient to safety. Once they could both stand, David assisted the patient from the surf, reassuring her while she regained her composure.

David obtained his Bronze Medallion in 2002 after his children started Nippers and is now a Bronze trainer and Level 1 Coach.

David was incredibly humbled to receive the award and said it was very lucky he and his wife were at the beach, which is known as a treacherous spot. Since 2011, two people have drowned there and one more around the corner at Flynn’s Beach. On the day of the rescue, a king tide had brought with it big swell and flash rips.

“Training just really comes into play in these situations. It was a euphoric feeling afterwards and the lady was so thankful. She told us she was going straight out to buy some lottery tickets because she felt so lucky.

“Surf Life Saving has given our family so much and really taught me and my kids to have an acute awareness of beach safety.”

David’s selflessness and dedication on this day saved a life. David’s actions are a testament to his training as a surf lifesaver and to the wider commitment of the Surf Life Saving Community.

The SLSNSW Rescue of the Month aims to recognise excellence in lifesaving. Each month during the patrol season a Rescue of the Month is awarded at both Branch and State level for the most outstanding rescue 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.

Tue 26 Mar 2013