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The Central Coast Support Operations team could be forgiven for thinking they were suffering from déjà vu today, after performing a successful rescue this morning at Snapper Point near Frazer Park.

As part of a multi-agency response which included Police, Volunteer Rescue and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, surf lifesavers on a jetski managed to extract two teenagers trapped in a cave and unable to escape due to rising rough sea conditions. A very similar incident several months ago earned Central Coast rescuers the National Rescue of the Month, awarded just last week at Parliament House in Canberra.

Rescue agencies on scene decided against attempting a vertical extraction of the trapped teens and Surf Life Saving assets were tasked to assist.

Central Coast Duty Officers received the callout and lifesavers at The Lakes SLSC launched a jetski and Inflatable Rescue Boat and made their way to the cave location, notorious for numerous incidents and drownings.

The Central Coast Support jetski was able to drop a lifesaver at the entrance to swim into the cave and assist the female patient to swim out to the jetski safely. The lifesaver returned to the cave, rescuing the male in the same way.

Both patients were transferred to the IRB driven by Anthony Smith and Gavin Brown and taken to Fraser Park beach, unharmed with no injuries.

Brianna Coyte, a member of Toowoon Bay SLSC was aboard the jetski driven by Sean Leicester and she swam into the cave to rescue the pair. She said the conditions were very challenging and the young female patient was shaken up and in shock when she reached her.

“She was pretty scared of going back into the water, so I made a joke about being her Uber driver for the day and managed to get her to put on a lifejacket. She was eventually OK to swim out and it all went fine,” said Brianna.

“They were part of a group of seven who had been jumping from the rocks when the conditions changed.”

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said he was incredibly proud of the team involved and the commitment shown by volunteer lifesavers in protecting the public and responding to emergencies on the coast.

“This is what it’s all about, this is what our volunteers are trained for and I can’t thank them enough for their rapid response and the great skills they demonstrated.

“The specialised training and equipment Surf Life Saving possesses makes us the experts at these sorts of tricky extraction missions in the coastal environment and these guys have done us proud.”

Police also praised the lifesavers for their professionalism and thanked everyone involved for a job well done.


Saturday 15 September 2018

The volunteer response crew - Central Coast Support Operations team and volunteers from The Lakes SLSC.