Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Shellharbour City Council lifeguards recognised by APOLA

Shellharbour City Council lifeguards recognised by APOLA
March 17, 2023

Six Shellharbour City Council lifeguards who helped save a boy struck by lightning have been recognised by the Australian Pool and Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA).

APOLA President and Head Lifeguard at Waverley Council, Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins this week presented the lifeguards with Meritorious Service Awards in recognition of the dangerous nature of the rescue, bravery and outstanding application of life saving rescue and first aid skills.

Hopkins, who is known around the world from the popular television show Bondi Rescue, paid tribute to the lifeguards - Thomas Bitz, Liam Pass, Sean Ritter, Deakin Southern, Daniel St George and Byron Vinkovic - at the Shellharbour Civic Centre on Wednesday 15th March.

The lifeguards involved were situated close to where the little boy was struck at Warilla Beach on 26th January.

They called emergency services and provided first aid before handing over to NSW Ambulance.

Shellharbour City Council Chief Executive, Mike Archer said he was thrilled to see Council’s lifeguards involved in the incident receive recognition from APOLA, commenting “APOLA is the peak industry body for professional lifeguards, so to have the president of their organisation come to Shellharbour and recognise our staff for the way they conducted themselves during that incident was very special.

“These young lifeguards were faced with an extremely confronting situation in which they demonstrated their professionalism, skill and composure.”

Praising the Council lifeguards’ professionalism, Hopkins added “Australia Day is one of the busiest days on the calendar for council lifeguards. After 30 years working at Bondi, I’ve come to expect the unexpected. But a lightning strike under clear blue skies directly hitting the young boy in the water is very rare.

“The way the lifeguards minimised the response time and delivered CPR to the young boy, resulting in a successful resuscitation, is testament to their training and professionalism.

“While council lifeguards don’t expect recognition, it was important for me to personally thank them for achieving such a great result.”

The six lifeguards involved in the incident also received certificates of recognition from Shellharbour City Council last month.

Images shows, from left: Deakin Southern, Liam Pass, Byron Vinkovic, Bruce Hopkins, Sean Ritter and Daniel St George. Not present: Thomas Bitz.

Related Articles

9th March 2023 - Five Blacktown City lifeguards commended for saving a man’s life

4th March 2023 - Summer drownings figures reveal 90 deaths across Australia

24th February 2023 - Royal Life Saving develops new online course specifically for pool lifeguards  

24th February 2023 - New resolution for global drowning prevention championed by 60 nations

11th February 2023 - Drownings highlight need for education on rip currents

23rd January 2023 - Float to Survive message demonstrated in ocean rip at Sydney’s Manly Beach

14th December 2022 - GESAC Crowned Life Saving Victoria Pool Lifeguard Champions

2nd December 2022 - Randwick City and Waverley councils launch Float to Survive initiative to reduce national drownings 

14th November 2022 - Sunshine Coast Council agrees new lifeguarding partnership with Surf Life Saving Queensland

7th November 2022 - Lifeguard shortage results in late start for South Grampians’ outdoor pool openings

30th September 2022 - Council to offer support to lifeguards after near drowning at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre

18th September 2022 - Professional ocean lifeguard patrols ramping up for summer

17th September 2022 - Sunshine Coast Council to spend $5.7 million on lifeguard services this financial year

9th September 2022 - APOLA President Bruce Hopkins gains support for adoption of Float to Survive initiative as a national anti-drowning prevention message

2nd September 2022 - City of Canterbury Bankstown to host lessons on Float to Survive techniques

9th July 2022 - Waverley Council sacks beach lifeguards over their COVID-19 vaccine status

24th May 2022 - Conference sees APOLA ride a wave of change

13th May 2022 - Bondi Beach lifeguard facility upgrades due for completion in September

1st August 2014 - 10 year Shellharbour Council subsidies total $10 million for pools and $6.5 million on sports fields

25th November 2009 - End of Free Swimming at Shellharbour


Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues

 
 

Myrtha Pools

Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness

 
 

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues

 
 

Sportybots

We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness

 
 

Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Active World

Since 2019, Active World's development team has been delivering a comprehensive single solution that caters to the diverse requirements of successfully operated and managed leisure centres. The…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Technology

 
 

COMMERCIAL AQUATICS AUSTRALIA

Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business