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service at Parliament House today with four National Rescue of the Month awards for July/August, September, October & November 2017 respectively.

The awards were presented with a host of key Federal Members including surf lifesavers and lifeguards attending the ceremony.

Surf Life Saving Australia’s President Graham Ford AM, presented the awards with local members of parliament including: the Hon Michael Kennan MP, Member for Stirling; the Hon Keith Pitt MP,  member for Hinkler; the Hon Sharon Bird MP, Member for Cunnigham; and the Hon Llew O’Brien MP, Member for Wide Bay,

“Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Rescue of the Month recognises incredible and courageous acts of service in saving lives.” Mr Ford AM said.

“The members who we honour here today used their training and skills gained as surf lifesavers to ensure that five people were able to return home to their loved ones”

Seven lifesavers from Trigg Island SLSC in West Australia were recognised for their collective response to resuscitate a swimmer in August 2017.

Joining them were Wide Bay Capricorn Branch members who responded to a rescue call for four tourists trapped by the incoming tide on Doctor’s Bay Island.

Receiving the October award were members of Burning Palms SLSC in New South Wales who trekked 1.5km to respond and deliver first aid, and, coordinate the airlift of a hiker who had fallen off a cliff in the Royal National Park.

The final award was presented to Sunshine Beach SLSC and members of the Australian Lifeguard Service for the life saving rescue of an unconscious female from a rip current in November.

SLSA President, Graham Ford AM asked members of Parliament and the public to help support beach safety education following an increase in drowning deaths this season.

“Tragically, an increase in drowning deaths have occurred at unpatrolled locations this season. It is critical that we continue to educate beachgoers about water safety and the importance of swimming at a patrolled beach and between the red and yellow flags so we can continue to keep them safe!” said Mr Ford AM.

The next Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving will be held on the 21st June 2018.

Background of Rescue of the Month awards:


Trigg Island SLSC

Mike Deephouse, Mike Cook, Peter Taylor, Darren Mills, Vanessa Barby, Mark Barlow and John Hardbattle.

On Sunday the 20th of August, Les Lindsay was emerging from the icy water of Trigg Beach after competing in the weekly Blue Hole club swim when he collapsed on the sand.

Mike Deephouse was on the scene and accessed his training to immediately put Les into the recovery position and called on Mike Cook to get the Oxygen Resuscitation Equipment.

Ambulance was called for immediately with Vanessa Barby communicating progress during the entire incident.  Oxygen therapy was applied as Les’ breathing began to falter, and as Les released a final exhale Mike began CPR.

John Hardbattle, quickly arrived and took over the chest compressions from Mark Barlow, working in tandem with Darren Mills.

Peter Taylor quickly retrieved the Defibrillator and the first shock was delivered to Les’ chest. Les didn’t respond. Shortly after the third shock had been delivered, Les was still unconscious, but breathing on his own. Les was transported back up the beach to the waiting ambulance.

Three days later, Les had recovered, and despite the broken ribs, the doctors had given him the all clear thanks for the life saving response by the Trigg Island volunteer surf lifesavers.


Wide Bay Capricorn Branch

Jamie Findlay, Riley McGrgor, Donna Wall and Jason Wall

It was already dark on Wednesday 20 September 2017 at 6.46pm when Elliot Heads 13SURF beacon received a call describing four tourists had been trapped on Doctor May’s Island.

The four had walked over to the island at low tide and unaware of how quickly the tide would rise became stranded.   Initially a member of the group attempted to swim across to the mainland for assistance but the current was too strong and decided to returned back to the relative safety of the island.

The two men and two women were able to contact the nearby café, to whom they explained their predicament and asked for assistance.  The café placed the call to 13SURF and Jamie Findlay contacted the tourists to reassure them that surf lifesavers were on their way, sending Riley McGregor and Elliot Heads Surf Life Saving Club to assist.

Utilising the ATV headlights and headlamps, Jamie and Riley drove the IRB from Elliot Head Beach out to sea and then to the Elliot Heads river mouth, navigating around the rock wall.  Once locating the tourists, Jamie and Riley transported the two female tourists across to the mainland before returning to collect the two male tourists.

This rescue highlights the teamwork and bravery of all lifesavers involved and the importance of 13SURF.


Burning Palms SLSC

Annabel Braithwaite-Young, Chris Fogwell, Paul Cooper, Eloise Cooper, Eri Shimamoto, Terry Danne, Matthew Braithwaite-Young, Laetitia Cooper, Elizabeth Feletar and Gary Daly.

On Saturday 15 October, Burning Palms SLSC was alerted to a man that had fallen off a cliff while hiking to the Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park.

Surf Lifesavers trekked the 1.5km’s the remote access scene and on arrival found the man with severe injuries to his head, arm, legs, ribs and back.

The remote location is out of reception and road access so the team established radio communication with the State Operations Centre via a radio relay to coordinate an airlift of the patient and provide updates on his condition.  During this time they kept him calm, administered oxygen and treated his injuries while also managing the fast gathering crowds.  The victim was then carefully carried to a suitable location for extraction via helicopter.

Without the professionalism, leadership and lifesaving skills shown by the patrolling surf lifesavers, the outcome for the victim would have been critical.


Sunshine Beach Slsc And Australian Lifeguard Service

Olivia Emanuel, Josh Jones and Isaac Smith

It was just on flags up on Sunday 5 November when a 23-year-old female was caught in a rip current between Sunrise and Sunshine Beach, approximately 600m from the nearest patrolled location.

Off-duty surf lifesaver, Olivia Emanuel, and a surfer rescued the unconscious female from the rip current and were able to bring her up the beach and after initial checks, begin performing CPR.

Sunrise Beach lifeguard, Josh Jones was setting up patrol when he was alerted to the incident by a member of the public and immediately dropped his flags and proceeded north to assist.

Upon arrival, Josh assessed the situation and began preparing the emergency care equipment. Josh assisted Olivia and the surfer in performing CPR.

Lifeguard, Isaac Smith, arrived and continued emergency care actions until ambulance crews arrived.

The victim was rushed to Sunshine Coast Hospital for further treatment.

Olivia demonstrated a tremendous level of composure and outstanding lifesaving skills, with Josh and Isaac administering a high standard of emergency care, highlighting the outstanding lifeguard service delivered on the Sunshine Coast.

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