Rescue of the Month

Cronulla SLSC in January submitted a nomination for the SLSNSW Rescue of the Month but narrowly missed out winning the prize.

Here’s their story. Five young Cronulla SLSC members SRC members of Patrol 8 rescued a young adolescent female on Blackwood’s Beach on Sunday 15 January 2017. The five members were Michaela Whitmee, Malaika Walker, Tayla Robinson, Hayley Mayfield and Jessica Barber. All girls are 14 years old and had recently gained their Surf Rescue Certificate as well as gaining their Radio Operators Certificate on the same day of the rescue.

The mechanics of the event were the girls had attended a shallow water rescue of two swimmers outside the southern part of the patrol area. Upon the successful completion of these two rescues the girls were asked by their Acting Patrol Captain to undertake a roving patrol with instructions to walk towards Blackwood’s Beach, taking with them a rescue tube and radio.

Approaching the cliff face on the Northern side of Blackwood’s the girls were alerted by members of the public that a lady had slipped of the cliff face. They radioed back to the patrol and reported that there was a person halfway down the cliff face and was unconscious. The girls assessed the situation and scaled down the face to the patient. At this point they found the patient to be semi-conscious. The lifesavers (girls) placed the patient in the recovery position and tried to obtain details from the patient. The girls used the rescue tube as support for the semi-conscious patient and tried to obtain event injury information and relayed the information to the patrol.

The patient then became unconscious and was found to be bleeding. The lifesavers with the patient stabilised the situation by remaining calm and kept relaying information back to radio operator who in turn kept the patrol informed of the situation.

At this point Surfcom was alerted by the patrol captain and a request made for an ambulance. In between a lifeguard arrived and radioed in for further assistance.

The patrol arrived with the first aid kit and oxyviva. Oxygen Therapy was administered by the patrol ARTC/first aid officer. A discussion took place between the lifeguards and the patrol group to try and safely secure the patient from further injury. The patient began to regain consciousness and vomited several times. Police arrived and made the request for more specialised assistance calling the fire brigade. The ambulance arrived and took over welfare of the patient. At all times the patient had various degrees of unconsciousness and fits. The safety of the patient remained the priority to the lifesavers until such time as more qualified persons arrived.

The lifesavers showed great maturity in handling the situation. Well done and thank you girls, this is what lifesaving is all about. Keep up the good work patrolling our great beach.

Chris Barber – Club Captain CSLSC