Many rescued in big seas

Keaton Grandemange hands out advice.

By Ron Lane

With big seas once again hitting the Queensland coast last week lifeguards have been kept busy on Noosas Main Beach, with some 60 plus rescues being performed.

On two successive days lifeguards performed 55 rescues with 20 on the first day and another 35 the on the second. “These were two of the worst days we have had for a long time,’’ said senior lifeguard Adam McKane. “There have been times when we had to take the flagged area right to the middle of Main Beach, as the sweep was taking the inexperienced board paddlers into the normal flagged area. We always do what we think is best and safest for our swimmers and by moving flags to the center of Main Beach it enables us to keep the beach open to the public.”

However one thing that is still of major concern to the patrols, is parent lack of responsibility. “They should accept the fact that when their children are in the water they should be no further away than arm’s length,” said a lifeguard. “Even though they are between the flags they still have to be diligent.

“There is a condition that we refer to as a flash rip. This is a rip that comes up very quickly, sort of out of nowhere and will suddenly drag a swimmer or group of swimmers out 30/40 meters and if children are caught in one of these it is not just frightening but also extremely dangerous. That is why we say to parents, swim with your children and be no further than an arm’s length away.”

One thing of which we can be certain is that Main Beach is patrolled by lifeguards that are amongst the finest. Last weekend Main Beach was under the control of senior lifeguard Adam McKane a man with some 26-years-experience in both surf lifesaving and ski competition at the highest level.

Then there was Keaton Grandemange who at 27 started as a 10-year-old nipper. Apart from his beach work, Keaton is also a member of the elite 24-hour emergency call-out group; a group of which his father Chris (a senior veteran twice decorated) is also a member. The third member of this roster was Lachie Lansdown and at 24 is the “baby” of the team. Lachie, like Keaton, started as a young nipper and when not working as a lifeguard spends his time competing in such international endurance events as the Molokai 53 km ski race in Hawaii.

But lifeguarding is not just about rescue work, for on occasions there are always some heavy first aid jobs that require their skills. There were two cases recently that required their attention until the arrival of the paramedics.

One was a young man that received incredible facial injuries after being slammed face first on to a sandbank by a dumper and the second a middle aged woman who collapsed after being stung by a very deadly stone fish; causing pain that the lady said “was worse than child birth”. So remember next time you pass a lifeguard on the beach give him or her a smile and a nod of the head: your life may soon be in their hands.

Statistics contained in the Noosa Heads/Peregian SLSC Annual Report for 2018/19, tell us that a total of 270 male and 170 female members contributed an outstanding total 15,495 member patrolling hours (all members are volunteers ) a truly outstanding effort. 

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