By Ron Lane
This Saturday, 16 September, our lifesavers will be back on the beaches of Peregian, Sunshine Beach and Main Beach Noosa.
With the great weather and big influx of tourists, our beaches are sure to be busy.
We take the opportunity to remind our beach-goers to swim between the flags and above all don’t hesitate to talk to our patrol members in the red and yellow uniforms. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, as that is what they are for – to pass on their experience and advice – it’s all part of the job.
Most important before you embark on a family stroll through the beautiful National Park – talk to us.
To maintain a high standard of patrolling is a never ending job and with a beautiful National Park, which unfortunately has several unpatrolled beaches between Noosa and Sunshine Beach, the temptation to swim at one of these during a hot walk can indeed be very dangerous – thus the need for the ongoing training and maintaince of our IRB teams and their rescue craft.
They are the first off the line should an incident occur in the National Park. However, should they be otherwise engaged in duties at Noosa Main Beach (an officially gazetted bathing area) their response time can be delayed, so don’t take them for granted.
Not a good start to the season for Sunshine Beach’s Club Captain Scott Summers who suffered a health problem last weekend – we wish him a speedy recovery.
To say that the month of September 2017 has been a sad time for lifesaving – not only in the state of Queensland but throughout Australia – would indeed be putting it in the right perspective; for it was during this month that we bid a sad farewell to two of our finest – Jack Dearlove, OAM, aged 93, and Dean Mercer, OAM, aged 47.
Both of these men made what can only be described as outstanding contributions to our organisation; from Dearlove, it was in the fields of administration – at both national and international levels, mouth to mouth resuscitation and carnivals and from Mercer it was Iron Man competition and coaching.
However, perhaps their most important contribution has been their public image away from the surf and sand.
Apart from his research into mouth to mouth resuscitation, Jack Dearlove, taught us all that despite your position in life, be it a brain surgeon or a labourer on the side of the road, once you walked through the door of a good surf club, all men were equal.
As the young inexperienced club captain of an out of the way lonely beach called Noosa Heads, I was given the same time and respect as that shown to captains of the then Big Three – Maroochydore, Alexander Headlands and Mooloolaba.
In later years, during his retirement he would always visit for a meal and a cold beer, and a “How’s everything going mate, all ok?” – still the same old clubbie.
From Mercer we took pride in his outstanding achievements in competition at the highest national level. His big heart and fighting spirit during years in Iron Man and other endurance events definitely set the standard for those hoping to achieve success.
But perhaps it was his personality that made such a big impact. His conduct and attitude in general earned respect from all levels of lifesaving and as we have said many times, respect in lifesaving is earned – never just given.
This young man did that many times over. Being of the Mercer family – one of the most respected families in the hundred-plus years of our organisation, it is easy to see where the pride and dignity of this young man came from.
Two of our finest – gone but never to be forgotten.
Vaya Con Dios Gentleman, Vaya Con Dios.