Two teen lifesavers have been applauded for a brave off-duty rescue which saved the life of a kayaker.
Remme Mason and Jess Shrimpton, both 15, were paddling at Mills Beach on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula when they noticed a floating object about 400m offshore.
Mornington Life Saving Club captain and Jess’ father, Terry Shrimpton, monitored the object with binoculars, while the two lifesavers paddled out to investigate.
They discovered a man aged in his 20s desperately clinging to a kayak that had capsized* and was drifting in the water.
“We heard the whistle of a life jacket and then saw a dark figure in the water,” Remme said.
“The man’s kayak had capsized and he was holding on to it to keep it afloat. We paddled with him and made sure he didn’t go under.
“It was just lucky we were there. He was quite relieved to see us.”
The man had hypothermia* when he returned to shore and was treated by paramedics.
“It was surreal*, you are just in the moment and your immediate thoughts are trying to help the person,” Remme said.
“Everything was chaotic but we stayed calm.”
Jess said she was surprised by the real-life emergency in September but years of lifesaving training kicked in.
“It’s not very common, we are all trained but we have never had an opportunity to do a rescue like that,” she said.
Her dad, Terry, 58, said he was “extremely proud” of the girls’ efforts.
“It is great to see them demonstrate their skills,” Mr Shrimpton said.
“I am extremely proud as a father and also as the patrol captain, we can rely on them to do the right thing when it is needed.
“It was a textbook rescue*, they are two very impressive young lifesavers who did everything by the book to ensure their own safety and the safety of the patient.”
Remme, Jess and her dad have been recognised by Life Saving Victoria as Everyday Lifesavers for their outstanding rescue.
Life Saving Victoria operations manager Liam Krige said the organisation applauded their brave actions.
“We are particularly impressed by our young lifesavers, who were in the right place at the right time, with the right equipment to perform this rescue and get the man to safety without putting themselves or any members of the public in danger,” he said.
“We are grateful for their bravery and quick thinking.
“We remind the public that you should only rescue someone struggling in the water if you are a qualified lifeguard or lifesaver and have appropriate safety equipment on hand.
“The last thing we want to see is someone who is trying to help get themselves into trouble, or worse.”
- capsized: overturned in water
- hypothermia: a dangerously low body temperature
- surreal: not seeming real, like a dream
- textbook rescue: a perfectly performed rescue, just like you would read in the instruction book
- How far off shore was the man when the lifesavers noticed him clinging to his kayak?
- What condition was the man suffering when he returned to shore?
- Terry Shrimpton is not only Jess’ father but also the captain of what?
- What award has Life Saving Victoria recognised Remme, Jess and Terry with?
- Life Saving Victoria operations manager Liam Krige says you should only rescue someone from the water if you are what?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
Draw and caption a storyboard to show how the rescue described in this news story unfolded. The parts should be in sequence and each important event should have its own frame.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Visual Arts
Make a list of things beach users can do to make their visit as safe as possible.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education
Imagine you were there during the event being discussed in the article, or for the interview.
Create a conversation between two characters from the article. (You may need, or want, to include yourself as one of the characters). Don’t forget to try to use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.
Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you carefully check the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.