Thirroul Surf Life Saving Club’s voluntary patrols may have finished for the season but that doesn’t stop its members from springing in to action when required.
Club President Jeff Body and member Phil Watt were volunteering more of their free time on Sunday, Mothers Day, when Mr Watt was called upon.
While installing lights during this weekends working bee, one of many which has been conducted during the surf clubs renovation, Mr Watt was approached by a member of the public who came running in to the club advising there was a swimmer caught in a rip and being taken out sea.
Mr Watt quickly calculated the most effective method of rescue and utilising a rescue board began the 200m paddle to the struggling swimmer. Upon returning to shore amid humbling applause from the busy Mothers Day crowd that had gathered on the sand Mr Watt handed the patient over to NSW Police and Ambulance personnel.
“He was in an anxious state” Mr Watt said, continuing “his eyes were as big as dinner plates, he wasn’t looking good”.
Thirroul SLSC President Jeff Body said “it is a testament to the well trained volunteers at Thirroul SLSC and a timely reminder that we are never off duty and the skills learned within the surf club can be called upon at any time”.
The off season rescue coincides with National Volunteer Week which begins the Monday after Mothers Day in May each year and aims to recognise the contribution of over 6 million volunteers across Australia who offer their time and dedication to the communities we live in.
Surf Life Saving NSW could not protect our communities without the 18,996 volunteers who commit their free time to help keep our beaches safe. This summer lifesavers across NSW conducted 3,503 rescues, carried out 118,308 preventative actions and performed 18,041 first aids.