North Wollongong surf life savers honoured for courage in January rescue

Courageous: North Wollongong's Surf Life Saving Patrol 4 at the Parliament House ceremony.

Courageous: North Wollongong's Surf Life Saving Patrol 4 at the Parliament House ceremony.

A surf life saving patrol from North Wollongong beach has been honoured in the nation’a capital for their courage in rescuing four men in January.

North Wollongong’s Patrol 4 received their National Rescue of the Month medallions at Parliament House.

They rescued four beachgoers after one man slipped off the rocks and his friends got into difficulty as they tried to rescue him at the northern end of North Wollongong Beach on January 2.

Patrol 4, led by Captain Kevin Ryan, were packing up after a training session when they became aware people were in trouble.

Patrol member Lachlan Sweeny grabbed a rescue tube and swam out, while Kieran McKay untied a board from the trailer and got into the water, Surf Life Saving NSW said in a statement.

“Kevin Ryan and Lachlan Kimberley who launched the IRB [inflatable rescue boat] with assistance from bystanders also entered the water,” it said.

“Luckily for the four distressed swimmers, who were aged between 12-25 years, a group of surfers were keeping them afloat but they were unable to return them to shore due to the permanent rip near the rocks.

“The surf lifesavers used their skill and determination to return the swimmers back to shore, provided them with oxygen treatment and waited with them until paramedics arrived.” They all recovered.

Mr Ryan thanked the surfers who kept the stricken swimmers afloat.

“This award is something that we can and are proud of, it was a really big effort from our patrol with numerous people involved not just surf lifesavers,” he said.

This latest recognition continues a season to remember for Illawarra surf clubs with North Wollongong SLSC joining Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC (November) and Windang SLSC (December) as winners of the National Rescue of the Month award.

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