Quick Thinking Lifesaver Earns NSW Award

An off-duty Cooks Hill lifesaver who saved a woman washed off rocks at the northern end of Bar Beach has been recognised with the honour of the NSW Rescue of the Month Award for October.

Just after 5:30pm on Sunday 16 October Malcolm Kelly, a Cooks Hill Trainer and Assessor was helping out in the bar area when a Police Officer came in to alert him to a female washed off the rocks and was in distress. Malcom and the Police Officer went to the storage shed and pulled out a rescue board, before Malcolm sprinted the 150 metres or so to the incident.

“When I got there I could see a couple of surfers supporting the woman. She was in her 40s and clearly wasn’t dressed for swimming. So I jumped in and paddled out through the 2-3 foot waves to rescue her,” Malcolm Kelly said.

After reassuring the woman who was suffering shock, Mal paddled her back to shore where the club’s emergency callout team had set up an IRB and oxgygen ready to assist if required.

The woman was placed in a comfortable sitting position and was provided with initial first aid by other Cooks Hill members, Police and Paramedics. The woman was transported to hospital and later expressed gratitude for the treatment she received from all involved.

A modest Malcolm Kelly who has been a surf lifesaver for 4 years attributed the successful outcome of this rescue to his training.

“There really wasn’t time to think I just reacted on instinct and did the best I could. The surfers did a great job that gave me the time to get out to her and the club’s rescue team was fantastic and was ready to launch if needed.

“I consider this award to be a great honour. I don’t do Surf Life Saving for awards or recognition or anything like that. While it’s nice to be recognised and appreciated the reason why I do it all is because I love it,” Mr Kelly said.

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

For official citations and past recipients please visit the Rescue of the Month Recognition Page.

Fri 18 Nov 2016