Safe in his hands
By KUE DAVIS
JOEL Beavis is a local hero in more ways than one.
Not only did the 17-year-old save someone's life early yesterday morning - but he did it straight out of bed.
At 7am yesterday, Joel was awoken by a call at home from the kitchen at Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, urging him to get to Park Beach where there was a swimmer in distress.
Without a second thought, Joel jumped out of his warm bed in Rosella Street and head down to the beach, ready for action.
A German tourist had been swimming alone in the heavy conditions when she was swept out toward Little Muttonbird Island.
"I got the call, and just got straight up and went down to the beach. Charlie (Hellembrite) lives at the surf club, and he was already out there," Joel said.
"We were told there was two people, so Charlie was on the island looking for the second person.
"I went out on the board to the girl, and brought her in."
Luckily, there was no second person, and the appreciative - and thankfully unharmed backpacker gave her thanks before heading off.
"She was a little tired, but she was ok. She said thanks."
Joel said while it wasn't his first rescue, he was a little nervous.
"It didn't take me long to wake up," he said.
The John Paul College student has been a part of surf lifesaving since he was just eight years old, and hopes to become a professional lifeguard once leaving school.