Two teenagers have been rescued from the Warriewood blowhole by a team of lifesavers in an effort the on-scene Duty Officer has described as ‘what surf lifesaving is all about’.
Just after 6pm on Saturday, 8 January on Sydney’s Northern beaches, two girls came running towards Warriewood patrol, who were in the process of packing up for the day, to alert them that their friends were stuck on the cliff face by the blowhole.
Lifesavers from Warriewood SLSC and North Narrabeen SLSC responded, launching Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) from both clubs, while the support ski from Bilgola was also utilised.
A situational analysis of the conditions determined that the girls would need to be rescued from the water, and with the help of calm, constant communication, the lifesavers successfully extracted the pair from the rocks.
“What was really paramount about this rescue, six o’clock is when Support Operations log off for the afternoon, but there were four IRB drivers on patrol and they’re trained for exactly these types of situations,” Sydney Northern Beaches Duty Officer, Romely Madew said.
“Doing it in a timely manner was critical.
“They (Warriewood Patrol) had launched the IRB within five minutes, communication was very calm, and the Patrol Captain was sitting in the middle cliff face giving a situational analysis of where the girls were.
“Everyone was very comfortable – the constant training these clubs do and the relationship between clubs was great.
“It’s what surf lifesaving is all about, everyone drops everything, gets their assets out there and starts working together as one team.”
Indeed, James Leggett, the Patrol Captain at Warriewood SLSC on the day, said that the conditions and the situation itself was something the lifesavers were familiar with.
“Our guys are well trained and they’re ready for it at any time,” he said.
“Most of our rescues are in the blowhole… people don’t realise what it is to get out of there.”
With a storm front rolling in as the rescue unfolded, Romely believes that without the lifesavers on hand – something that would have left her to reach out to other assets – they may not have been as successful.
“It shows the importance of these crews being ready, competent and being available because it was a really swift rescue,” she said.
“If we were not rescue ready, we may have had teenagers with very bad injuries or we may have lost lives.
“Our role as lifesavers is to protect the general public on the beach and it was a great outcome yesterday.”
Sunday 9 January 2022