presentations to over 4,000 school students as well as leading pilot Surf Rescue Certificate programs to year 11 and 12 students. James has been a first responder to numerous incidents as well as being a media spokesperson for some very high-profile incidents. James has shown courage, strong leadership and compassion in some very challenging situations. James also coordinated the Department of Primary Industries Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program in Port Macquarie and provided UAV surveillance for the NSW State Championships. Congratulations James!
DHL Lifeguard of the Year – Runners-Up
Brett Wood, WA
Brett has used his diverse skill set and knowledge to work across a variety of beaches in the Perth metropolitan area. Trained as a drone operator, Brett was instrumental in the early development and implementation of the program at Secret Harbour SLSC. Brett used his expertise to mentor and train volunteers in drone deployment in surrounding areas. Brett is an enthusiastic and passionate lifeguard willing to share his knowledge and engage the public at any opportunity.
Connor O’Sullivan, QLD
Connor is a highly regarded senior lifeguard at Port Douglas and Green Island. Connor is an integral part of the community and has made a significant effort to ensure he knows all emergency services personnel by name. The relationships he has created have allowed Connor to positively promote the lifeguard service and its capabilities to the other emergency services. Connor spends many hours mentoring new staff and is always willing to go above and beyond to help his peers. Connor is well respected within the community and has a strong relationship with the local surf lifesaving volunteers in Port Douglas.
Mark Scotland, VIC
Mark prides himself on his preventative approach to his role as a lifeguard. Mark’s methods are traditional and based around communication and education. Mark does this through active engagement of beachgoers, informing them of the hazards at the several beaches he patrols. Mark leads by example always maintaining a high level of physical skill as well as theoretical understanding of surf lifesaving principles. Mark is a mentor on the Victorian Lifesaving Camp, sharing his vast knowledge and experience with future lifeguards.
Shine Beach SLSC, QLD & Waverunner 19
A routine ATV patrol for Lachlan Lansdown and John Reeves on the 24th of December 2017 quickly turned into a life and death situation when they noticed two patients in trouble beyond the break on unpatrolled Alexandria Beach. Lachlan grabbed a rescue board and John a rescue tube and they quickly paddled out to the pair, where they discovered there were in fact four people in distress, one unconscious. Fortunately, David James on WaveRunner 19 then quickly returned to take the unconscious patient to shore where CPR was successfully administered. The emergency beacon was activated and with the help of emergency services, a tragic situation was avoided. The recue was a testament to the swift action, excellent training and teamwork of Sunshine Beach SLSC & WaveRunner 19.
James Cervi, Australian Lifeguard Service, QLD
On the 18th of February this year, a father and daughter were filming the younger brother surfing off Granite Bay at Noosa Heads. Sitting within the break line, they turned to head back through the waves when a rouge wave crested early and knocked the pair from the jet ski. The pair approached the jet ski and attempted to restart the engine, however, another wave broke, separating them and forcing them into a rocky alcove. James Cervi, first on the scene, was standing on the rocks. He then entered the water to support the young woman while shouting commands through the water to the father. James held onto the woman, using his body weight to pull her under the breaking waves, to protect her. After twenty minutes of holding the young woman, the pair were washed close enough to the rocks to be assisted onto the shelf by bystanders. James’ calm demeanour and experience saved the girl’s life.