GUNNAMATTA and Sorrento surf lifesaving clubs have been presented with Rescue medals by Surf Life Saving Australia for their members’ efforts in rescuing a father and his son.
Everyday Lifesaver certificates were awarded to Liam Kiernan and David Lawson for their actions at the same incident, Gunnamatta club president David Stogdale said.
The drama that the lifesavers were recognised for unfolded in the early evening after patrols had ended at Gunnamatta on Friday 6 January.
The father went into the water after seeing his sons, two brothers, aged 16 and 20, get into difficulties. However, he too soon got into trouble and had to be helped ashore with his younger son by lifesavers.
No trace of the 20-year-old could be found that evening and a full air and sea search ended the following day (“Search scaled back for man missing at Gunnamatta, The News 10/1/23).
“The Rescue medal was issued to both clubs for their combined efforts of the 14 members involved in the rescue where one person was lost to the sea, but two were rescued from the Gunnamatta ocean beach rip in fading light,” Stogdale said.
“Of particular note was the care provided by club members to members of the effected family who were in deep emotional distress.
“The awarding of the Rescue medal and Everyday Lifesaver certificates was worthy recognition for the efforts of all involved in the incident.”
Stogdale said the 6 January incident was a “tragic reminder to swim between the flags at all times”.
Lifesavers rescued six people at Gunnamatta on the previous Friday (30 December).
Gunnamatta SLSC volunteers patrol each weekend from mid-November until mid-April. Details: gunnamattaslsc.com.au