Kiama is fast becoming the place where teen heroes are made and lives are saved after a second dramatic surf rescue in a few days.
In five days seven lives have been saved by local children who were enjoying their favourite beach.
On Saturday, November 18 the latest rescue occurred when six mates - George Griffin, Harrison Smee, Alex Norris, Braith Davidson, Zach Marsden and Max Laird - were boogie boarding at Kiama Surf Beach.
"We heard the screaming, at first I thought they were having some fun with their friends," Harrison, 15, said.
Knowing that beach patrols had finished for the day around 20 minutes earlier, the boys jumped into action.
They swam straight for the rip and each of the boys grabbed a swimmer who was struggling.
"We pretty much got a person each and brought them in," Harrison said.
George, 12, said was really worried as he swam on his boogie board towards those struggling in the rip.
"We acted on instinct. I'm surprised at how quickly it happened, I think we all are, and how quickly people get dragged out in a rip and how quickly they panic," he said.
The rip was so strong it took the lifesavers 15 minutes to bring the six people - a mother, her three young children, and two female teenagers - back to the sand.
"I'm pretty relieved. We were just doing what we've been taught and trained for and I'm relieved that they're all well and healthy. They were lucky we were there," Harrison said.
It was the second similar rescue after three Kiama Downs teens - George Kalajzich, Dax Cairncross and Lucas Mak, all aged 15, - rescued someone stuck in a rip on Jones Beach on November 14.
This rescue also came after patrol hours and they saved a 17-year-old Sydney schoolie who was in the area on holidays.
Kiama Surf Club president Phil Perry praised the six young members of his club who jumped into action for the mass rescue of six people on Saturday.
"For them to show the bravery and put their lives on the line to go and save kids was next level," he said.
"It's one thing having the understanding and knowledge in what to do, but it's another putting yourself at risk to help others. Their surf skills are immense for their age."
Surf Beach is well known for rip and its northern and southern corners, but this rip occurred suddenly right in the middle of the beach.
"Normally when rips appear they stay for a while, flash rips are the most dangerous," he said.
The older boys were undertaking their Bronze Medallion Course on the weekend and put their skills to use during the training.
Kiama Surf Club's junior activities co-ordinator, Dave Griffin, who is also George's father, said skills learnt in the surf club are skills for life.
"The idea of managed risk really underpins what we're doing. There are less and les opportunities for kids to do that these days," he said.
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