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For the second time this season lifesavers from Burning Palms SLSC have taken out the Rescue of the Month award after their members went to the assistance of an injured man at the notorious Figure Eight Rock Pools in February.

On Sunday 18 February, Patrol Team 3 were on duty when a phone call came in just after midday asking if they were aware of an incident at Figure 8 Rock Pools.

The circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear but the lifesavers knew that the only way to find out what was happening was to walk the 1.5km over fairly challenging terrain.

In addition, Patrol Captain Garth Taylor sent an IRB out to investigate while he and Matt Leary set off on the track, stopping first to grab first aid supplies including a defibrillator in case it was needed.

The IRB radioed back that nobody was in the water but they could see a man lying on the rocks with two members of the public attending to him.

This information was relayed to Garth and Matt and when they reached the site, the two lifesavers found the man had suffered a significant laceration to his leg.

After a quick assessment of his injuries, the lifesavers redressed his leg and provided reassurance, though it was clear he was going to need to be extracted from the area. Fortunately his condition was relatively stable and he was able to talk and breathe normally despite being in some discomfort.

Paramedics arrived some time later to assist with stabilising the patient and after several hours the man was winched out. The two lifesavers remained with him during this period and assisted with preparing for the extraction, while their teammates were kept busy keeping watch over the large crowd they were on the beach seeking refuge from the summer sun.

The team had also taken the pre-emptive action of informing the public that the Figure 8 Rockpools were closed so there would be no distractions during the rescue attempt.

On their way back to the club the lifesavers assisted another patrol member who was attending to a woman who was suffering severe dehydration.

Speaking after the rescue Patrol Captain Garth Taylor said he was proud of the way his team had handled the emergency situation.

“We’re a very close knit team on patrol with everyone highly trained and keen to get in and have a go,” said Garth Taylor.

“I’m delighted of how everyone responded with our Vice Captain Peter (Pearce) doing a fantastic job handling the communications with the Operations Centre and keeping us all informed of the situation as it was unfolding.

As committed lifesavers, Taylor and his team are all too familiar with challenging rescues at Burning Palms Beach.

“Every time there is an incident near the pools we know it’s going to be a challenge because of the isolation of the area.

“It’s great for our small club to have this recognition as it underlines that even though we are one of the smaller clubs in Sydney our training is certainly at the highest standard,” he said.

The SLSNSW Rescue of the Month is a prestigious award that recognises excellence in Surf Life Saving. Each month a ‘Rescue of the Month’ is awarded at State level for the most outstanding rescue performance for that period. Monthly winners are eligible for the National Rescue of the Month, and are also in line to be named the NSW Rescue of the Year which is announced at the season-ending Awards of Excellence.

LIFESAVERS INVOLVED: Garth Taylor, Peter Pearce, Jarrod Phillips, Andrew Woolner, Adam Dansie, Matthew Leary, Michael Leary and Paul Leary


Friday 23 March 2018