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As surf lifesavers you never know when or where your skills could be called upon to save a life, and for September’s Rescue of the Month winners Stuart Sutton and his son Callum from Copacabana SLSC that moment came in the unlikely surrounds of Adcock Park on the NSW Central Coast.

On Sunday 10 September 2017 the father-son duo put their CPR knowledge and skills to use when they assisted in the successful resuscitation of a cyclist at the West Gosford venue.

The pair were at venue for a morning athletics training session when shortly before 9am, Stuart looked up to see a cyclist collapse within seconds of starting his ride on the velodrome that encircles the field.

Fortunately, Stuart was standing only 15 metres from the incident and instinct from his years of experience as both a professional fire fighter and as a surf lifesaver kicked in as he raced over to the stricken cyclist to assess the situation.

His first step was to check to see if the cyclist, aged in his 70s, was conscious and breathing. When it became apparent that he wasn’t, and realising the severity of the situation, Stuart directed Callum’s coach James Shannon to call an ambulance.

While this was happening, Callum raced to the family car to retrieve a first aid kit in case it was required and also threw open the venue’s gates to await the arrival of paramedics.

Stuart commenced CPR on the patient and several minutes later the paramedics arrived on scene escorted by Callum. He continued to administer treatment before handing over to the paramedics after approximately ten minutes.

Paramedics continued to work on the man and he was eventually stabilised and transported to hospital for further specialised treatment. While the man was in serious condition when he arrived at the hospital he is slowly recuperating from his ordeal and his health is expected to continue to improve.

Thanks to the rapid and coordinated response from Stuart and Callum it was later established that the cyclist had only been without oxygen for less than a minute before receiving CPR treatment. Both lifesavers were widely praised for their efforts. NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt Du Plessis said the incident highlights the importance of knowing the skills that can help save a life.

“In this incident which occurred far beyond the beach the lifesavers reacted with extreme professionalism and dedication. “They had a split second to react and sum up the situation and they did this which played a large part in the successful outcome. On behalf of Surf Life Saving NSW we congratulate them for being worthy winners of Rescue of the Month,” he concluded.

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.


Tuesday 24 October 2017