Lachlan and Shaun O'Reilly with Jack Pavey (centre).
Lachlan and Shaun O'Reilly with Jack Pavey (centre). Contributed

Bravery sees surf lifesavers recognised

COFFS Coast surf lifesavers involved in the attempted rescue of two swimmers, who drowned off North Wall Beach have been recognised for their courageous efforts.

Brothers Lachlan and Sean O’Reilly, father and son Warren and Jack Pavey and Mark Beavis went to the aid of the two men caught in a strong rip on March 22.

At 3.45pm, a member of the public alerted Lachlan and Sean O’Reilly that the two swimmers were struggling in a strong rip.

The brothers had been in the car park ahead of their afternoon training session and Lachlan instinctively took his board from his car and ran to the surf.

Sean meanwhile alerted Coffs Harbour Council Lifeguards at Park Beach to the incident.

When Lachlan got to the water, one of the swimmers had been rescued.

Lachlan asked members of the public to provide CPR while he handled the communication with ambulance officers over the phone in order to ensure that the swimmer was being correctly treated.

Lachlan and Sean then entered the water in an attempt to rescue the second swimmer.

The pair had to paddle out and negotiate a heavy shore dump to get to the stricken man.

They found him at the head of the rip and as they reached him they performed an unconscious rollover, after which they were able to get the man back to the shore.

The two carried the unconscious swimmer to a safe spot on the sand where they started CPR with the aid of fellow club members including father and son Warren and Jack Pavey and head coach Mark Beavis.

The group of lifesavers continued CPR on both unconscious swimmers, but sadly, neither man was able to be revived.

“When Lachlan and Sean brought the second swimmer to shore I ran down and helped them bring him up the beach and immediately started compressions,” Jack said.

“We’re all very proud of everyone’s efforts on the day and it’s great for our club and members to receive this recognition.

“It’s just a shame we didn’t get a better result,” Mark said.

Coffs Harbour SLSC sent condolences to the swimmers’ families and reminded beach-goers to always swim between the red and yellow flags.

The men have received the SLSNSW Rescue of the Month award.

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