SLSNSW Rescue of the Month – October 2022
A typical Sunday morning patrol took a twist for South West Rocks SLSC members, Brienna Elford, Grahame Ball and Rod McDonagh when they leapt into action to assist a young female with a disability in distress.
On 30 October at around 11am, patrol was alerted that a female was in the water at Horseshoe Bay, and an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) was launched to assist. Upon arrival, the 22-year-old female was more than 350m offshore and showing signs of exhaustion. Her fully clothed mother was close by, floating on a pair of pool noodles. Her daughter, who suffers from a mental disability, continued to swim away from her mother and was demonstrating significant stress and anxiety.
Calling on not only their lifesaving skills but their people skills as well, a rapport was struck between
both Rod and Grahame in the IRB and the female in the water, who eventually allowed them to assist
her in holding the side of the IRB to bring her back in to the beach. Brienna, who had driven an ATV with first aid supplies to the scene, swam out to meet the IRB and assist the female out of the water. With
assistance, she was able to walk and was treated on the beach for exhaustion. The patrol team then stayed with her for some time afterwards while she remained hostile towards her
family and carer. After nearly two hours, she was returned to the care of her family.
The support and assistance shown by Brienna, Grahame and Rod proved paramount to ensuring
the safety of the female.