Tathra lifesaver features in touring photo exhibition

TATHRA surf lifesaver Andy Johnson has been selected as one of only 10 volunteers who will be featured in a photographic exhibition over the weekend in Sydney, as well as in NZ next week. 

The exhibition honours the diverse range of volunteers within Surf Life Saving Australia and the organisation’s 10-year partnership with DHL. 

Mr Johnson first decided to join the Tathra Surf Life Saving Club because he saw it as a chance to hang out with his mates and stay fit. 

Twenty-nine years later, he continues to be involved in all aspects of the club as an on-call lifeguard, inflatable rescue boat (IRB) driver, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) operator and more. 

His interest in surf lifesaving has rubbed off on his family as well, with his children progressing through the Nippers ranks to be bronze level lifesavers.

Mr Johnson said he understood many of the volunteer lifesavers to be featured in the exhibition are recipients of SLSA bravery medals

In 2008, Mr Johnson was awarded the Meritorious Bronze Medal for rescuing a family of three from a capsized fishing boat in extreme surf conditions off Kianinny.

“It was only by chance I was there,” he said.

“I paddled out on my board and had to get them away from their boat as it was about to be washed up on the rocks.”

Mr Johnson was reluctant to take all the credit for the challenging rescue though.

“Tony Brunton jumped in and gave a hand - if he didn’t we could have had a different outcome.

“I’ll never take full credit for that rescue without acknowledging ‘Bones’,” he said.

The exhibition is on display this weekend at First Fleet Park – adjacent to the Museum of Contemporary Art - in The Rocks, Sydney.

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