Hat Head SLSC

3rd April 2010

SLSNSW – Rescue of the Year – 2009/2010 Season

SLSNSW – Rescue of the Month – April 2010


On Good Friday 3 April 2010 at approximately 11.20am, Ken Parish (IRB Driver) and Scott Reinke (IRB Crewman) launched the IRB for a surveillance patrol at Hat head Beach.  When they arrived at Hat Head point there were two male snorkelers climbing out of the water onto rocks and one signaled them for assistance.  Parish and Reinke then went as close as safely to the rocks to find out what was happening.  As a result of this action, two further male snorkelers were seen in the water.  At this time, they were being taken further out to see by a rip current and were in obvious difficulty and appeared distressed.  A decision was then made to rescue the two male swimmers in the water as the other two were safe at this time on the rocks.  After picking the two swimmers out of the water and conveying them to the beach, Parish and Reinke returned to the area were the two boys were still trapped on the rocks.  A fisherman alerted Parish that one of the boys had sustained lacerations to his legs and hands whilst clambering onto the rocks.

Parish and Reinke then returned to beach and another member of the patrol was picked up with a First Aid Kit and delivered him out to Little Beach where he was dropped off to climb out to the top of the cliff above where the two boys were trapped in case urgent medical assistance was required.  Parish and Reinke then returned to where the two boys were trapped and attempted to get them to jump into the water and swim to the IRB.  Due to the sea conditions deteriorating, and the boys not being capable swimmers they refused to re-enter the water.  Port Macquarie VMR was then notified of the situation and the Branch Duty Officers notified.  The State Duty Officer was contacted who notified the Police of the incident.  The Support Operations RWC was dispatched from South West Rocks in an attempt to collect the boys from the rocks.  Again, it was deemed too dangerous for the boys to be rescued from the water.  The Westpac Helicopter was then dispatched to the scene, arriving at 1.45pm.  The two boys were then winched to safety.  During the down time waiting for the Helicopter to arrive, a member of the Police Force abseiled down to the buys to check on their condition.  After being airlifted off the rocks, the two boys were taken to the Hat Head SLSC and attended by Ambulance Officers.

I have no doubt that on this day two or more lives would have been lost if it were not the actions of the patrolling members at Hat Head SLSC.

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