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It’s been a highly successful summer patrolling beaches across northern NSW for Jai Sheridan who was crowned Lifeguard of the Year at the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence in Sydney last Saturday night.

The teenager has been an employee of the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) since 2014 and also tasted international experience after spending a summer honing his skills in the UK, but it wasn’t until last season where his leadership potential was formally recognised as he stepped up to undertake a casual role as Supervisor for the Byron/Ballina area.

“I’m really honoured to receive this award. It does get hectic over summer with the beaches getting packed and so many events such as Fall Festival and New Year’s celebrations so it does get full on but we have a really good team up there,” Jai Sheridan said.

When he’s not working with the ALS, Jai can often be found on patrol with his surf club Lennox Head where he is also a member of their Jet Ski call out team.

Throughout the season Jai’s knowledge and skills were put to the test as he participated in many call-outs and administered first-aid treatments during a number of incidents.

One notable rescue effort in which this youngster played a pivotal role involved assisting in the safe return of five swimmers who had got into difficulty in a powerful rip off Lennox Head, but he also recounts a second rescue that took place in recent months.

“We actually had a kayaker get into difficulty not so long ago by the time we got out there they were pretty much underwater. They were really happy to see us so that was a pretty memorable moment,” he said.

It wasn’t just in the surf where Jai was making waves as a popular and affable Lifeguard, but also earning the distinction of being among the first to be trained in flying the Little Ripper.


Wednesday 9 August 2017