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The Entrance Surf Life Saving Club member, Patrick Jacob has moved to thank the support he received from volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards alike after his courageous off-duty rescue of a teenage boy in April claimed Surf Life Saving NSW’s Rescue of the Month award.

Patrick was working from home on the overcast Monday afternoon, 17 April, when his neighbour called and alerted him to an unfolding incident at the nearby North Entrance Beach.

A group of boys had visited the beach despite the weather and a 14-year-old was caught in a rip and struggling to stay afloat.

“I was working away in Excel when I got the call, so it certainly startled me into action,” Patrick said.

“I live quite close to the beach and my neighbour had called her husband first, but he lives a few doors further down and she thought I’d be quicker.

“I grabbed a rescue tube I had at home and ran to the beach, past my neighbour who I told to ring Triple Zero, towards where the boy’s friends were, I couldn’t see what they were pointing at but I went out to sea and followed their directions.”

Eventually, Patrick came across the boy being dumped by the surf and extended the rescue tube he was carrying, keeping a safe distance as the teenager was panicking by this time.

The rip had carried them into a precarious position, and it wasn’t going to be easy to get back to shore.

“I said we can’t go in, we’re going to have to go out, and he wasn’t too thrilled by that but it was our best option,” Patrick recalled.

There, he flagged down assistance from Lifeguards who were already on scene and coordinating Rescue Water Craft to assist. In short time, the jet ski collected them from the water, exhausted but okay and delivered them back to the beach where the young boy was assessed by paramedics.

“It was pretty full on,” Patrick reflected.

“The lead lifeguard at North Entrance confirmed to me that the kid would have drowned, it was an overcast day, no one on the beach whatsoever, his friends didn’t call Triple Zero, they were in the water thinking about going in to save him, so it could’ve been so different.

“I’m so glad for the training I received from Janet Lindsay and Peter Cooper. They trained me to know what to do in that situation and I’m grateful for the support of the volunteers that came down to the beach as it was unfolding and were there as support once we got back to shore.

“Jesse Anderson and Czes Lawicki from North Entrance and Leigh and Dan, the Council Lifeguards, they were all great.

“It’s good to know within myself how I’d act in this situation as well. I’d always wondered if I’d hesitate if the waves were big or if there’s no one else around, but I acted in the way I’ve been trained.”

Friday 26 May 2023