Bermagui, Tathra honoured at Surf Life Saving awards night

The Far South Coast Branch of Surf Lifesaving has honoured its top lifesavers at the recent presentation evening, hosted by the Narooma Surf Life Saving Club.

It was a big night for Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club, which took home seven major awards as well as the Jack Beale Trophy for the highest combined point score.

Wendy Law, claimed four of Broulee’s seven awards including Administrator of the Year, Official of the Year, Presidents Award for Services to the Branch and the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Wendy was recognised for her efforts as secretary of the Broulee club, director of finance for the Far South Coast Branch and George Bass Marathon, and her involvement in local carnivals as assistant director of sport and an official.

Peter McKay, of Broulee took out competitor of the year, while Darren Browning won Lifesaver of the Year and the Canberra Broulee Vets crew also claimed team of the Year.

Bermagui took out Club of the Year for the Dave Pheeney Patrol Efficiency Award after a stellar season on the beach with 100 per cent compliance to their patrol agreement and a significant growth in membership. Bermagui club president Bruce McAslan was honoured as trainer of the year, while William Vaughan-Smith was awarded Young Branch Person of the Year.

Moruya’s Ainslie Skully was awarded Young Lifesaver “Rookie” of the Year, along with Darcy Coppin who was the Branch Female Junior Lifesaver of the Year and Batemans Bay’s Joel Doble who was the male Junior Lifesaver of the Year.

Civilians Shane Babbington and Bill Alendi heard cries for help of rock fishermen washed offshore and contacted police before launching their abalone boat. Tathra SLSC was tasked to the scene at Kianniny Bay along with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and NSW Ambulance and police.

Initial reports suggested one person was washed off rocks. It turned out five fishermen were washed into the water, only one of the five was wearing a lifejacket.

Two were pulled from the water by Shane and Bill in their boat, one was wearing a lifejacket, one was not and both were in and out of consciousness. Two made it to safety themselves – one with head injuries and abrasions, while another remained in the water unconscious.

Surf lifesavers Tony Rettke and Peter George braved four-metre swells against rocks to retrieve the fishermen from the water unconscious. Conditions were so dangerous they had to tow the patient at the side of their boat further out to sea away from the treacherous and dangerous rocks before attempting to pull the man aged in his 50s unconscious and into their IRB.

Both boats immediately raced to Kianniny boat ramp and were met by the patrol members Valerie Schmid-Oke, Matt Alterator, Neroli Dickson, Sharon George and Max Harris who treated the three patients for 25 minutes before ambulance arrived. 

CPR was performed on the unconscious patient at the boat ramp and defibrillator was used. Meanwhile the airway was monitored and cleared for the two others retrieved from the water. Oxygen therapy provided by the patrol who worked as a seriously impressive team providing vital first aid for two “near drownings” while continuing to perform CPR and defibrillation on the unconscious patient as well.

It was a solid example of triage and teamwork between the civilians and lifesavers with five patients in a very serious scene, only one person sadly being unable to be revived.

Far South Coast Branch President Tony Rettke congratulated all winners.

“This year was another fantastic season on our beaches, with over 100 people rescued, some great competition and members taking part in development programs,” he said.

“It was great to have Darcy and Joel present at our awards night on their experience at the junior lifesaver of the year program.”

“To have so many young people engaged and involved is simply amazing.”

The branch winners are now state finalists for Surf Life Saving NSW, which is being held in August.

FSC Branch SLS 2016/17 Award Winners (Winner, Club)

Junior Life Saver of the Year (FEMALE)

Darcy Coppin, Moruya SLSC

Junior Life Saver of the Year (MALE)

Joel Doble, Batemans Bay SLSC

Presidents Trophy

Wendy Law, Broulee

Competitor of the Year

Peter McKay, Broulee

Carnival of the Year


Team of the Year

Broulee Vets, Broulee

Coach of the Year

Brendan Constable, Narooma

Official of the Year

Wendy Law, Broulee

Club Person of the Year

Glenn Bywater, Narooma SLSC

Trainer of the Year

Bruce McAslan, Bermagui SLSC

Administrator of the Year - Myril Bunt

Wendy Law, Broulee

Young Lifesaver "Rookie" of the Year

Ainslie Scully, Moruya SLSC

Young Branch Person of the Year - Fergus Thomson

William Vaughan-Smith, Bermagui SLSC

Lifesaver of the Year

Darren Browning, Broulee

Rescue of the Year

Tathra SLSC and civilians

Branch Person of the Year

Wendy Law, Broulee

Club of the Year


Jack Beale Trophy



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