July 19 - 25, 2015: Issue 223
Warriewood and Avalon Beach Win NSW Rescue of the Month - May/June 2015
Above: The Avalon girls after the rescue
Warriewood and Avalon Beach Win NSW Rescue of the Month
Friday 17th of July 2015 - SLS NSW
Warriewood and Avalon Beach lifesavers have been awarded the NSW Rescue of the Month for May/June after rescuing a rock fisherman who fell five metres onto rocks at Warriewood Beach on 27 June 2015.
The Avalon Beach Masters Women surfboat crew with Russell Lamb from Warriewood as sweep, were rowing off Warriewood at 7.20am on Saturday 27 June when they saw a rock fisherman fall more than five metres onto rocks and roll partly into the water.
When he wasn't moving, Bev Tilbury and Kate Munro jumped into the water and swam over to the rock platform with a rescue tube. The remaining two rowers, Kerry McEwan and Donna Wishart along with the sweep, Russell Lamb headed back to the beach to raise the alarm and launch the IRB.
Police and Ambulance were called and the IRB with Russell and Kerry sped back out around the headland with first aid, spinal board and oxygen gear and Kerry left the IRB to swim over to the rocks to assist. Warriewood Club Captain Jen Spencer paddled a rescue board around to the accident site to assist, while Donna manned the radio, coordinating comms with the State Operations Centre, emergency services and the IRB.
The four lifesavers secured the man onto a spinal board, stabilised the patient and waited for help as it was thought too risky to try to get the man into the IRB with possible spinal injuries.
He was in a lot of pain, groaning and shivering from shock. It was impossible to walk him out either because they were trapped under a rocky overhang.
For more than an hour the members tried to comfort and reassure the patient until the Ambulance helicopter arrived and a paramedic was winched onto the rocks, secured the patient in a stretcher then winched him aboard the aircraft.
The man was wearing a lifejacket, but was extremely lucky the crew were out training and were able to reach him so quickly. He sustained fractures to his wrists, pelvis and scapula and received surgery the next day.
The rowers sustained minor cuts and bruises getting onto the rock platform and two of the lifesavers were also suffering from mild hypothermia as they were clad only in swimmers and light tops for the entire length of the rescue operation.
The rescue was a good example of a combined effort from lifesavers from two clubs and the rock fisherman was extremely lucky the surfboat crew was out training and able to respond.
The SLSNSW Rescue of the Month aims to recognise excellence in lifesaving. Each month a ‘Rescue of the Month’ is awarded at State level for the most outstanding rescue performance for that period. Monthly winners have the chance to win the Australian Rescue of the Month and become finalists for the SLSNSW Rescue of the Year which is presented at the annual Awards of Excellence.
For official citations and past recipients please visit the Rescue of the Month Recognition Page.
NSW Clubbies Honoured For Top Rescues
Thursday 20 August, 2015
A group of dedicated lifesavers received national recognition for recent rescue efforts at a ceremony in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday.
Avan Christie from Evans Head-Casino SLSC took out the National Rescue of the Month award for April, while Kate Munro, Kerry McEwan, Donna Wishart (Avalon Beach) and Bev Tilbury, Jen Spencer and Russell Lamb (Warriewood) received their award for the May/June period.
The group were presented their awards at ceremony attended by representatives from the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving as well as Mackellar MP Bronwyn Bishop.
Avan Christie won his awards for his efforts on Easter Monday where despite not being a patrolling member, he rescued 4 people in two separate incidents at Evans Head Main Beach and Airforce Beach before getting in trouble himself.
Mr Christie’s feat is made all the more significant as he is from a small club, with Evans Head only having around 25 patrolling members. After the story of his brave rescue spread and with pressure from his fellow clubbies, Avan says he has decided to do his bronze medallion, when he can find the time away from the club treasurer's duties.
It was extremely fortunate for one fisherman that the Avalon Beach Masters crew along with their Warriewood sweep were out for a training session in the early hours of 27 June. The team spotted the fisherman falling around 5 metres onto rock and roll partly into the water.
The surfboat crew realised that the fisherman had suffered significant injuries which ultimately resulted in him having to be evacuated off the rock platform by helicopter.
Warriewood sweep Russell Lamb said the combined Warriewood/Avalon effort was the result of the right people being in the right place at the right time.
"He was lucky that there were well trained Surf sports competitors there outside of patrol hours to respond. We need to encourage more participation in surf life saving at all levels for this reason, as it means more people who know what they're doing are there," Mr Lamb explained to the attending MPs.
Each month a ‘Rescue of the Month’ is awarded at State level for the most outstanding rescue performance for that period. Monthly winners have the chance to win the Australian Rescue of the Month and become finalists for the SLSNSW Rescue of the Year which is presented at the annual Awards of Excellence.
The SLSNSW Rescue of the Month aims to recognise excellence in lifesaving.
Top - Winners are grinners. Avan Christie and the Avalon and Warriewood Surf Boat Team with Graham Ford. Credit SLSA
Above - The Avalon and Warriewood crew show off their spoils with Hon. Bronwyn Bishop MP. Credit SLSNSW
Turrimetta Headland - Warriewood Beach side