Photo: Surf Life Saving NSW @slsnsw
*** This article first published on the Surf Lifesaving NSW website
One family is singing the praises of surf lifesavers, lifeguards, and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter after a successful joint-rescue at Bermagui on the state’s Far South Coast on Tuesday afternoon.
Shortly before 5pm today, a young family were enjoying an afternoon playing on the rocks at Blue Pool when they became stranded by a turning tide.
It is understood the group were visitors to the area.
The children; two boys, and two girls, and aged between 10 and 16 were about to head back when they realised their entry point had disappeared. Suddenly, there was no way back to their mother who was waiting for their return several hundred metres away.
After being alerted to the incident the Sydney-based State Operations Centre tasked a number of surf lifesaving assets to attend the scene.
Responding assets included eight members from the Bermagui SLSC call-out team, a Far South Coast Duty Officer, and Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service who were patrolling a nearby beach.
An Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) was launched in an effort to rescue the stranded children but it was quickly determined that a safe extraction wasn’t possible due to the rough conditions.
At the time there was a strong northeasterly wind that was causing the swell to pick up. In addition, one of the members of the callout team scrambled down the cliff face to wait with the children while a decision on how to proceed was made.
It became apparent that the only way to get the foursome back to safety was to conduct a winching operation, with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter out of Moruya to be the one charged with that responsibility.
Approximately one hour after the drama had begun it was all over with all four children returned safely to firm ground.
Fortunately, they were unharmed from their adventure and will have quite a story to tell their friends.
Far South Coast Duty Officer and Bermagui SLSC Secretary Cheryl McCarthy said the successful operation was a joy to witness.
“It was fantastic to see everyone’s training be put to the test in a real-life situation and the ALS Lifeguards, the crew from the Westpac Helicopter, and the call-out team certainly deserve credit for their professionalism and effort.
“From our perspective, it was a team effort and we are certainly glad to be part of what was a great outcome,” Ms McCarthy said.
BEACH SAFETY TIPS
Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website
Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm
In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police
Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated.
For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.