THE final Bronze Medallion examinations turned into the real thing at Yamba’s Main Beach on Saturday when a middle-aged couple found themselves caught in a strong rip and a 13-year-old surf club member paddled into action.
Young Rory Brown was paddling out through the 1.2 metre dumping break on a rescue board as part of his Surf Rescue Certificate assessment when a swimmer pointed him towards a woman who had raised her hand signalling she was in trouble.
The woman’s husband, who had tried to save his wife, was nearby, also caught in the same rip which, according to club officials, had suddenly developed within the flagged area.
Rory, who is two years too young for the Bronze Medallion, said all his training had paid off for his first real rescue.
“It didn’t feel any different to training, I had to calm them down, they were panicking, but they were fine once they could stand,” the Maclean High School student said.
“First I got her on the board and I got him to hold onto the board until someone else got there.”
Patrol member Kade Ryan, who was swimming nearby, helped Rory with this feat and patrol captain Joel Wiseman paddled out to pick up the man.
Rory had to negotiate the challenging dumping swell on his way in with the woman.
“It was pretty messy surf and she got hit in the head (by the board) a little bit, but she was okay,” he said.
Needless to say, Rory was successful in gaining his Surf Rescue Certificate award while other members of the training group – Jarrad Perl, Graze Katuzons and Samuel Katuzons – also earned their Bronze Medallions.
Club president Alan Schofield praised the Wooleweyah youngster for his prompt action and said the rescue provided a perfect example of the high quality of training being carried out within the Yamba Surf Club by chief instructor Kim Morgans.
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