SAVED: Mitch Harvey helped rescue a young man at Main Beach in Woolgoolga.
SAVED: Mitch Harvey helped rescue a young man at Main Beach in Woolgoolga. Rachel Vercoe

A close call in the surf

"I'M not going to let someone die in front of me, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure they at least have a chance of living."

With those words, Mitch Harvey recalled the rescue of two young men in their 20s, earlier this week on Main Beach.

The Woolgoolga Marine Rescue volunteer was on his way to work when a woman ran to him asking for assistance for two young Asian visitors, who were struggling in the surf.

While Mitch ran to the rescue building to grab the rescue bag for his first solo action, two surfers headed out to bring the men back onto the beach.

When he arrived at the scene one of the men was okay but the surfers were carrying the second unconscious man up the beach.

"I wasn't panicking but I had fear of stuffing up in that situation," Mitch said.

After performing an initial assessment and being rolled into the recovery position, Mitch said the man coughed up a good two or three cups of water.

While the man had come to, Mitch said he was puffing, pale in the face, his eyes were closed and his body was still limp.

Mitch performed a secondary assessment and decided to administer oxygen as the man was feeling dizzy and light-headed.

"I didn't want to stuff up because that guy's life was at risk at that stage."

After about half an hour on oxygen, the man was breathing and coherent as the ambulance arrived to take him away for

further treatment and assessment.

The next day Mitch received a proud hug from his mum and was approached by people in town appreciating his involvement.

"A lot of people were saying it was like saving his life, potentially I did."

Mitch said it was important to keep calm and to be able to deal with worst-case scenarios.

Mitch was grateful for the two surfers involved, without their help the outcome could have been much worse.



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