TWO Mount Eliza brothers – both members of Portsea Life Saving Club – have been recognised for their efforts in saving three young women from dangerous seas at Canadian Bay.
Their Everyday Lifesaver Award recognises “outstanding bystander rescues undertaken in a safe manner that doesn’t put the rescuer at risk”.
In September last year, Oscar and Ryan Peddle were surfing a “bay wave” in 60-70kph winds and four-foot waves. The chaotic conditions were so extreme that Ryan said afterwards he had “never seen Canadian Bay like that before”.
Hearing a woman’s frantic calls, the boys paddled their boards to help three young women swept off a ramp and caught in a rip. The trio had panicked, with one having an asthma attack.
Ryan managed to support all three on his surfboard until Oscar and another surfer arrived to help. Taking a girl each, they paddled to shore.
“When I saw the girls in distress, I knew I had to think on my feet and move quickly,” Ryan said. “One of the girls was having an asthma attack; it was lucky I could get them onto my board and wait until Oscar and another rescuer arrived.”
In recognition of their bravery without endangering themselves or others, LSV general manager lifesaving services Liam Krige presented Oscar and Ryan with the Everyday Lifesaver award at the scene of the rescue.
“I have no doubt that if not for the immediate acts of courage and quick thinking by the two young men, at least one of the girls could have drowned that day,” he said. “Oscar and Ryan Peddle are prime examples of the importance of lifesaving patrol experience as an essential emergency service and value of this skill set in saving lives.”