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Yeppoon Lagoon Lifeguard Team prevents Christmas Day tragedy

Yeppoon Lagoon Lifeguard Team prevents Christmas Day tragedy
January 7, 2020

A little reported incident during the holidays saw a Christmas Day tragedy averted thanks to a quick-thinking Lifeguard on duty at the Yeppoon Lagoon on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast.

The incident saw three young swimmers (aged from 10 to 14 years) caught in a torrent rip where the Ross Creek meets the ocean at Fisherman’s Bay, causing the trio to be pushed out to sea.

The Lagoon’s skilled Lifeguard team sprang into action to cover the Lagoon releasing 18-year old Patrick Doherty to enter the ocean to effect a heroic rescue of all three children.

Commenting on the incident, Doherty stated “I reached the first boy and he had the look of fear in his eyes and was struggling to stay above water.

“I put the tube under his arms and continued to swim to the little girl who was also going under.

“Once I got the third boy onto the tube I put my hand up for assistance and the surf rescue team came out in the rubber duckie.”

Doherty acknowledged how strong the currents were and that he was glad the Lifeguard colleagues were able to render assistance.

Commending the work of his team, Michael Bennett, BlueFit Regional Manager, stated “the team’s ability to work together in a situation like this, is a testament to the ongoing training we provide.”

Matt Nelson, BlueFit’s Safety and Training Coordinator, reiterated “the skills the team possess are typically reserved for still water rescues, however, as shown in this situation, the skills they learn through ongoing development are transferable into the ocean.”

Daniel Mulvey, BlueFit Chief Operating Officer, stated “we are delighted as an organisation of the positive outcome and we are extremely proud of how the team handled the situation.”

The incident serves as a timely reminder of the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags. Rips and strong currents are silent and sometimes hard to recognise, red and yellow flags highlight safe areas to swim at the beach.

Images: Patrick Doherty (top, courtesy of Bluefit), Lifeguard activities at the Yeppoon Lagoon (middle) and the Yeppoon Lagoon (below, courtesy of Livingstone Shire Council).

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2nd December 2019 - Rescue tubes trialled at Coffs Harbour beaches to help reduce drownings

13th November 2019 - Royal Life Saving backs BlueFit’s refusal to allow mother with three children under five access to Sydney pool

12th November 2019 - South Australian beach drowning inquest calls for enhanced warning signs and lifesavers to operate over longer hours

16th September 2019 - Rising drowning deaths coincide with record summer temperatures

22nd August 2019 - Ian Thorpe set to inspire community activity by joining BlueFit advisory committee

24th June 2019 - BlueFit set to operate seven additional aquatic and recreation facilities from July

14th January 2019 - Cairns rescues highlight dangers of swimming in local waterways

2nd January 2019 - Airlie Beach lagoon drowning prompts WorkSafe Queensland advice

20th March 2018 - BlueFit Group appoints new Chief Financial Officer

27th February 2018 - Former Bunnings Chief Executive John Gillam named BlueFit Chairman

15th July 2016 - Livingstone Shire Council foreshore redevelopment to revitalise Yeppoon

26th June 2016 - Yeppoon water play area wins tourism excellence award

6th August 2015 - Yeppoon looks to develop foreshore lagoon and wave pool

29th February 2012 - Quiet summer for Queensland life savers


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