Big Thursday for lifeguards

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Deputy PM Michael McCormick chat to Sunshine Beach Nippers at the opening. Picture: ROSE ASTLEY

For members of our council lifeguards, last Thursday was indeed Big Thursday. With the big seas now moving south and starting to drop off, it is only right that the public are made aware of the work done by these people when Mother Nature cuts loose.

It is sad but true that once again the 70 plus rescues and incidents in which our lifeguards were involved, occurred because inexperienced boardies, ignored not only the fact that the beaches were closed, but also their form to surf the big stuff does not exist.

There were several incidents where, believe it or not these surfers were knocked from their boards well into National Park, and ended up clinging to the rock wall one kilometre away, on Noosa’s Main Beach; and waving for help.

One dangerous incident occurred when a photographer using underwater housing got into difficulties in Tee Tree Bay and ended up on the Noosa Rock Wall. In another incident a young lady was luck when getting into difficulties in National Park three local board riders got her onto some rocks and assisted her till lifeguards could reach them. Very lucky to be alive.

The majority of rescues were performed by the jet ski patrols and a few by rescue boards. So bad were conditions, that immediately going on duty the jet ski was at sea on standby; by 10am it was necessary to add another jet ski to the patrol.

With the fires that are ravaging around our great nation, the work of our firemen and women we acknowledge – and rightly so, but when cyclones hit our coast let us not forget to salute the work of our lifeguards. The big seas might only last a day or so but the danger factor during that time is a big reality.

Challenging trip

Last weekend Noosa boat section sent a team of nine boat crews, from u/19 to masters, to Mollymook to contest the Australian Surf Rowers League Championships.

Often described as the unofficial Australian Titles, these crews performed in what can only be classed as mountainous seas.

With 300 crews in attendance it was obvious that only the best would get through to the finals: proud to say that three crews out of the nine made the finals in their division. Interesting to note that all the three crews were girls.

In the ladies open division the Noosa crew (known as the Chums) crossed the line in second place to bring home the silver medal and in the ladies’ reserve division Noosa was again in the medals when their crew (the wood swallows) crossed the line in third place. Despite not winning a medal the third girls crew, (the bandits) rowing in the reserve division made the final and for these girls that was a truly outstanding effort.

As members of the club at Yeppoon they hold a dual membership with Noosa thus allowing them to do their patrols at home but row for us: also, when visiting they do good work in supporting our Seahorse Nippers. To train in the calmer waters of north Queensland but compete in the big surf of last weekend, shows courage and determination. Well done to all.

Magnificent venue

At last it is all over. On Saturday morning invited guests, life members, club members and supporters, gathered at the Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club to celebrate the official opening of the new club.

The journey, which started in the early 1980s from the original tin shed at the back of the beach, to the beautifully designed clubhouse has been a long one: but the time, effort and money has all been worthwhile.

In his opening address to guests, master of ceremony and building chairman Warrick Redwood drew laughter when he asked, “How awesome is this? I am on fire.’’

In his opening he thanked his committee for their effort. He then thanked architect Andrew Bock saying “Your design has shown respect for the surroundings and the environment -and what we asked for you understood.”

President Craig Law welcomed all and acknowledged the attendance of Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Wide Bay Member Llew Obrien and local MP Sandy Bolton. He then thanked Warrick for his outstanding control vision and dedication.

Amongst his remarks the deputy PM said, “This club will last you long into the future.” And following this the member for Wide Bay when talking of the government funding remarked, “This money was your money and you have put it back into the community.”

Moving amongst the guests all remarks were complementary and despite the crowd the atmosphere throughout the club was one of good vibes. Well done to Sunshine crew-one and all.

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