A daring after-hours rescue at the Hunter Branch proved that lifesaving surfing skills aren’t just useful on patrols after Tea Gardens Hawks Nest SLSC members quickly rescued a woman from the ocean after falling into a rift. Had arrived.
The rescue has been awarded the Surf Life Saving NSW Rescue of the Month for March.
Just after 5pm on Sunday, March 20, patrol members were having a drink in the clubhouse when they were alerted to a woman caught in a dangerous rip current about 80 yards offshore and 100 yards north of the club.
Phillip Everett, Stuart Daniel, Carolyn Jeffries, Anthony Logue, and Sharon Taylor quickly intervened to respond. He teamed up to perform a rescue – Stuart made his way to the patient on the rescue board while the others prepared the IRB for launch.
“The sun was setting, and there were long shadows on the sand but not on the water,” Carolyn said.
“There were also difficult circumstances, as the poor lady found out.
“We thought it was better to wait for the board to come down rather than take the tube.
“I went to higher ground and gestured for Stuart because from the water level, with the big waves, he couldn’t tell where to go.”
Despite a tricky coastal break and choppy conditions that made getting the woman to the rescue board difficult, the IRB was launched successfully and reached Stuart and the woman in a short time. Exhaustion played a part, but it never stopped them. In the end, the team boarded the patient on the IRB and returned her safely to shore, breathing and conscious.
The rescue sign was nearly collateral damage in the incident, wiped out in the wake of getting the patient aboard the IRB, but that was raised by Sharon when Carolyn advised the IRB driver and crew how to get the waves back to shore navigate.
“The whole team worked really well,” Carolyn continued.
“We were so surprised when we sat at a table upstairs in the clubhouse, but we didn’t hesitate – we stopped, looked, and judged. Thanks to our training, it was a natural thing to do.
“Good training makes good saves possible.”
Without the efforts of the five off-duty Tea Gardens Hawks Nest SLSC members, the incident could have turned out very differently.
Laerdal is a proud supporter of Surf Life Saving NSW. The SLSNSW Rescue of the Month aims to recognize excellence in lifesaving resources. Each month, a “Rescue of the Month” is awarded at the state level for the most outstanding rescue achievements in that period. Monthly winners can win National Rescue of the Month and become finalists for the SLSNSW Rescue of the Year, presented at the annual Awards of Excellence. Rescue of the month winners will receive Laerdel gift cards from recognizing their achievements.
Tuesday 31 May 2022