Quick thinking surf patrol comes to the rescue at Sawtell
BEING packed up didn't stop a Sawtell SLSC patrol group from springing into action to rescue stranded ski paddlers.
Patrol captain Andrew Martin and his crew had already put the equipment away on Sunday afternoon due to the horrible conditions caused by the very strong north easterly wind and were just watching until the end of patrol.
At about 3.45pm, the patrol saw a pair of double skis about 300m from shore paddling from the north.
Shortly after the patrol team saw one of the double skis had capsized and both paddlers in the water attempting to right their craft. The other ski had already started to paddle towards the shore. By the time they had turned back to the overturned friends, the people in the water were near the rocks at the island, trying to pull their craft away. However due to a rogue wave, the ski was thrown onto the rocks and the two paddlers were dragged out to sea.
This is where the patrol stepped in.
Martin called the rescue. Without hesitation junior members of the patrol Liam Taylor, Emily Taylor, Cody Bland, Kaitlyn Bland and Tim Martin raced to the club's garage to help get the IRB onto Sawtell SLSC's all terrain vehicle and grabbed tubes.
Young Liam and Tim waded over to the island where they helped one of the paddlers who had made it to shore retrieve the double ski from the rocks on the island.
Meanwhile the remainder of the patrol waited to assist the IRB who by this time had negotiated the surf and retrieved both paddlers from the other ski who were by this time well past the second island.