Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving Club has been handed the first ever Rescue of the Month award at a ceremony in Canberra this week.
Surf Life Saving Australia launched the national initiative to recognise the courageous and outstanding achievement that our lifesavers and members perform on our coastal waterways every day.
The presentation happened at the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving launch event at Parliament House.
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Mark Fife OAM, Surf Life Saving Australia’s Chair, Lifesaving said that the rescue took place on Sunday 15 December, 2013 at the commencement of the summer school holidays when Surfers Paradise Beach was at its busiest.
“A strong northerly sweep and inshore trough, increasing in depth with a rising tide required exceptional beach management by Patrol 16,” Mr Fife said.
“The patrol performed 44 rescues, countless ‘assists’ and hundreds of preventative actions and was a great example of efforts in Surf Life Saving across Australia,” he said.
“During the rescue, off duty surf lifesaver Emily Schofield, 17 year old school student, assisted 25 individuals over four hours.
Emily said she did not realise she was even in the running for an accolade as her mother told her she had to go to Canberra because “she” was getting an award.
Surf Life Saving Australia President Graham Ford said this new program recognises excellence in lifesaving and service delivery, measured against industry best practice and operating procedures.
“Rescue of the Month will raise awareness of this initiative and showcase the great work our members do across Australia’s beaches and coastal water ways.”
“Surfers Paradise SLSC should be incredibly proud that they were involved in the rescue deemed the most courageous that month.”
“I expect that the national Rescue of the Month will become a highly esteemed award in Surf Life Saving as it builds momentum and we look forward to another announcement next month,” Mr Ford said.