Members of the Surf Coast Rescue Water Craft (RWC) Service Michael Henderson, Alex Buckley and Alex Schwarcz, were recently awarded the Surf life Saving Australia (SLSA) Rescue of the Month.
Read about their brave rescue below.
Life Saving Victoria (LSV) Communications was notified by Victoria Police of two persons requiring assistance and trapped on a rock platform at the base of Split Point, near Airey’s Inlet on Victoria’s Surf Coast.
In response to the incident, the Surf Coast RWC service deployed three members from Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) to attend the incident. Alex Buckley and Alex Schwarcz each operated “Surf Coast 30” and “Surf Coast 31” from Fairhaven, with Michael Henderson accompanying them as the rescue swimmer on the sled.
The RWCs attended at the rock platform where the patients were located, conditions had deteriorated as a weather front moved in. There, Henderson alighted the RWC and swam approximately seventy metres through large surf to reach the two patients and climb onto the rock platform.
There he determined one patient was able to speak English, but had no swimming ability, they were extremely fearful of entering the water. The second patient did not speak English but had some swimming ability.
Henderson swam back to the RWC and obtained PFDs for each of the two patients which he returned and to fitted to them. Henderson then swam both of the patients fully clothed back to the RWCs, which waited away from the dangerous section of water near rocks faces.
The stronger swimmer was secured on the rear of an RWC, whilst Henderson accompanied the non-swimmer on the back of the second RWC.
Once each patient was secured on the RWCs individually, both craft departed Split Point for Sunnymeade Beach. This required Buckley and Schwarcz to drive away from rock faces, avoiding other rocks and timing their run through large surf.
Both patients were in good spirits and did not require any further medical attention on arrival at Sunnymeade Beach, and were handed over the other emergency services.