South Maroubra Lifesavers Awarded National Rescue of the Month

Father and son duo Graham and Lucas Toms of South Maroubra SLSC have been awarded the National and NSW Rescue of the Month for July-August 2014.

On Sunday 31 August 2014, Lucas and Graham Toms saw a rock fisherman in distress from their home in Lurline Bay. The pair called Triple Zero and then made their way down to the rock shelf. Lucas entered the water with his board while Graham entered behind him with a rescue tube.

Lucas was first to reach the patient who was face down in the water, unconscious and unresponsive. Lucas grabbed hold of the patient and placed him on his board for support before commencing deep water resuscitation, aided by his father Graham.

Due to the dangerous surf conditions both Lucas and Graham decided not to risk returning to the rock shelf and instead continued resuscitation and waited for assistance to arrive. The effort by Lucas and Graham was made all the more extraordinary given the size and weight of the unconscious patient.

Assistance soon arrived from a Maroubra Lifeguard on a jetski as well as off-duty lifesavers in an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) from Maroubra SLSC. The patient was transferred to the jetski and resuscitation continued. The Westpac Rescue Lifesaver Helicopter arrived on scene soon after, winching the patient aboard and continuing CPR until reaching the ground at Arthur Byrne Reserve (Maroubra Beach) where paramedics were waiting. In the end the paramedics were unable to revive the patient who was declared deceased on scene.

Both Lucas and Graham performed above and beyond expectations utilising their Surf Lifesaving skills to access and attempt to resuscitate the patient in extremely trying conditions. Without the quick and selfless response of these individuals this could have quite easily turned into a major search operation.

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 Australian 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.

Thu 2 Oct 2014