About Rescue of the Month
Lifesavers and Lifeguards provide a valuable service on beaches and in communities throughout Australia – many exceptional rescues and first aids preformed over and above normal duties and which showcase excellence in lifesaving skills and procedures often go unrecognised.
The Rescue of the Month aims to recognise excellence in lifesaving and service delivery, measured against industry best practice and operating procedures. It is not aimed to encourage unnecessary risk or neglect of safety considerations.
Winners of the Branch Rescue of the Month award are automatically nominated for the next stage in the award program, being the State in this case, State winners then go on to be nominated for National Rescue of the Month recognition.
Clubs and Support Operations organisations are encouraged to nominate teams or individuals involved in any outstanding rescues conducted during or outside of patrol hours, year round, on or off the beach.
Clubs and Support Operations are to nominate using the official Rescue of the Month Nomination Form. Nominations must be submitted by the due date as late nominations will not be considered.
Key dates for 2023/24 are as follows:
|Nomation Period||Online Form to be Submitted by||SLSNSW Closing Date||NSW ROTM Announced|
|1-31 July 2023
|1-31 August 2023 (August)||8/09/2023||15/09/2023||29/09/2023|
|1-30 September 2023 (September)||6/10/2023||13/10/2022||27/10/2023|
|1-31 October 2023 (October)||3/11/2023||10/11/2023||1/12/2023|
|1-30 November 2023 (November)||8/12/2023||15/12/2023||29/12/2023|
|1-31 December 2024 (December)||5/01/2024||12/01/2024||26/01/2024|
|1-31 January 2024 (January)||9/02/2024||16/02/2024||1/03/2024|
|1-28 February 2024 (February)||8/03/2024||15/03/2024||29/03/2024|
|1-31 March 2024
|1-30 April 2024
|1-31 May 2024
|1-30 June 2024
MARCH 2023 – Dee Why SLSC
On Saturday 4th March Patrol ARB patrolled the afternoon shift.
From the start of the shift there were some obvious areas that needed more attention than usual. During the pre-patrol briefing with the Lifeguard, it was decided to have a permanent roving patrol north of the clubhouse at a double rip area, as well as three or four patrol members with tubes rotating at the back of the flags, due to a rip at the back of the flag area and an out-going tide.
Around 3:30pm the Lifeguards used the loudspeaker system to warn swimmers at the back to move closer to the beach, they could see the early signs of a flash rip forming. Within 10 seconds we had a flash rip with four swimmers caught and in trouble. A lifesaver on a board was already heading towards that area and the IRB and jet ski were deployed. Two new SRC members (who only completed their assessment that morning!) were patrolling with tubes at the back of the flags and secured two of the swimmers and the lifesaver on the board picked up the other two. The IRB took the swimmers from the board paddler and returned them to shore, the jet ski picked up one of the swimmers from the SRC with the tube, and the other swimmer that was secured by tube was returned to shore by the SRC member.
All of the rescued swimmers were shaken but required no further treatment. The patrol and lifeguards worked well as a team pre-emptively assigning resources. Without this preventative action, this incident could well have turned into an unmanageable mass rescue.
FEBRUARY 2023 – Newport SLSC
At approximately 1730 on Sunday the 19th Feb, multiple Newport SLSC members were on the deck of the clubhouse following the Champion Patrol competition at Freshwater that day and patrolling finishing for the afternoon.
A member that had started their Bronze Medallion course that day (Richard Eastwood) noticed a father and child struggling in a rip and seemingly unable to return to shore. Richard brought it to the attention of those around him (including a few from the patrol that had just come off duty). The Patrol Captain also brought several other members attention. Guyren Smith went downstairs and grabbed a rescue board that has now been stored in an unlocked position within the club.
A number of the patrol the followed and Jayson Polgar grabbed a tube on the way. Guyren ran the approximately 200m down the beach to enter the water and paddle out to the father and child. On arrival both people were OK, however the child was visibly tired and frightened. Guyren secured the child on the board and by that time Jayson had arrived with the tube. Guyren paddled the child back to shore while Jayson assisted the father to shore. Both father and child were tired but OK and were left in the care of their mother/wife.
Before returning the gear to the shed multiple members of the patrol took the time to explain to another group of swimmers in the same location what had happened and suggested another area for them to swim.
JANUARY 2023 – Palm Beach SLSC
Several patrol members were patrolling in the water with tubes, on either side of the flags, when an elderly man swimming with his son and grandchildren was knocked over by a wave that crashed on top of him. He appeared to hit his head on the sandbank when he fell and was slow to get up, causing his family and patrol members some concern.
The patrol members signalled for help, suspecting that he may have suffered a spinal injury.
Upon returning the man to the beach, he lost consciousness and stopped breathing. The patrol, with some assistance from off-duty medical personnel and lifeguards, commenced CPR and attached a defibrillator. Five rounds of CPR were conducted, with no shocks applied, before the patient started breathing again and returned to a semi-conscious state. Oxygen therapy was applied and the man was later transferred to hospital by ambulance.
December 2022 – Palm Beach & Nth Palm Beach SLSC
Emre Mehmate was driving the IRB at Palm Beach when he was alerted to a mass rescue by the North Palm Beach patrol captain. Four members of the public were caught in a rip at the north end of North Palm Beach and their IRB was “high and dry” due to a really low tide and large sand bank. Palm Beach’s IRB was already in the water and close by. In the meantime, Nth Palm Beach had sent to patrol members in with a board and a tube.
Emre arrived at the location to find a patient face down in the water, at which point he and his crew person, Will Hicks, dragged him out of the water and brought him to the beach. The patient was breathing, albeit had ingested a large amount of salt water, so Palm Beach and Nth Palm Beach members treated him with Oxygen and monitored him until paramedics arrived at the scene.
This event was a great example of the excellent collaboration both Clubs demonstrate every patrolling day.
November 2022 – Manly LSC
The patrol had just about finished packing up for the day when a member of the public notified them that someone was in trouble in a rip near the Corso. A quick look confirmed a person with their arm up approx. 100m offshore.
Upon arrival at the location, the Patrol Captain saw that 1 patient had already been brought to the beach but there were 2 other swimmers in distress and clinging to a local surfer’s board. Lifesavers and a Lifeguard quickly paddled out to assist the swimmers and brought them to shore, at which point they had to be carried up the beach. Oxygen saturation was quite low on 2 of the patients and so they were put on oxygen therapy while waiting for the ambulance that Surfcom had requested.
All 3 patients (all under 18) were suffering from mild hypothermia and with treatment, had started to improve by the time the ambulances arrived. All 3 were transferred to hospital.
September 2022 – Manly LSC
During the annual pre-season Nipper Training Camp in Sawtell, which involved approx. 100 Nippers from Manly LSC, Sawtell SLSC and Coffs Harbour SLSC, one of the water safety members suffered a medical episode while performing water safety duties on a rescue board. The episode caused him to lose consciousness and he collapsed onto the board. The board was washed into the break and the POI was rolled off the board and into the water. The POI was seen by a member of the public and a nipper parent floating in the break, due to the bright hi-viz orange rashie he was wearing.
The POI was brought from the water initially unconscious and having been submersed for approx. 2 minutes. By the time he was brought up to dry sand he had started to regain consciousness. The team performed initial emergency care and provided oxygen.
Thankfully due to the quick actions of the Manly/Sawtell Water Safety team and the fact the POI was wearing hi- viz to be noticed and found in fast moving surf quickly, a life was saved that day.
August 2022 – Whale Beach SLSC
29th August 2022: A member of the public alerted four surf club members that were talking in the grass carpark of Whale Beach that there was an incident happening in the rip south of the club house. The Club Captain, Jack Lamrock saw that two members of the public, an older man (father) and a younger boy (son) were indeed in trouble.
Jack took command of the situation, instructing two club members, Alexander Benson and Charlie Sherlock to take rescue boards out to rescue them from the rip. Jack and Harry Millard followed to support the rescue once they made it back to shore.
Back at shore there was discussion and an assessment to check that the two patients were ok. It was very hard as they didn’t speak much English. Fortunately, someone arrived that could translate, at which point a discussion about RIPS and beach safety was held.
July 2022 – Avalon Beach SLSC
4th July 2022: Proving lifesavers are never truly off duty, Avalon Beach SLSC’s Nick Sampson and Jason Dale’s quick thinking and sound action in a high-pressure situation has seen the Northern Beaches pair awarded with Surf Life Saving NSW’s Rescue of the Month for July 2022.
On their way back to a hotel on 4 July after a full day posted with the SES in response to the heightening flood emergency, Nick and Jason found themselves caught in flash flooding in Liverpoolwhere, for close to three hours, they switched gears back into lifesaving mode to assist nearly 100 stranded vehicles.
Their rescue support varied from extricating people through car windows and carrying them to self-made evacuation points, to escorting and directing people through the waters.
Chief among their outstanding efforts was the rescue of an elderly woman who had been swept off her feet into the moving water as well as a policewoman who had jumped in to assist.
Jason and Nick were able to rescue them both before they were washed into a nearby creek.
Without their involvement, the incident could very easily have been a fatal one to many. The surf lifesavers were commended on scene by all attending agencies, and the following day, pictures from the scene showed the damage that had been incurred – a sage reminder of the important role they played.
Avalon Beach SLSC was also awarded the SLSNSW Rescue of the Month