Macksville-Scotts Head SLSC: 2016 Rescue of the Year award recipients Jason O’Donnell and Scott Balfour. Photo, Surf Lifesaving NSWSURF LIFESAVERS from Macksville/Scotts Head Surf Club signed off on the 2015/2016 season with a State award under their beltsat the annual NSW awards of excellence in Sydney.
Nanjing Night Net

They were honoured with the Lifesaving Rescue of the Year awardfor a daring rescue in June/July where club president Jason O’Donnell and member Scott Balfour launched an IRB, risking their own lives in the process, to save a man who had been knocked off his kayak by the dangerous surf conditions.

The on-water duo were supported by fellow members Cathryn O’Donnell,Barry Clow andPeter Dyba, and Mid North Coast branch duty officer David Brunsdon.

This Staterecognitionfollows on from the prestigious National and Sate Rescue of the Month award for their efforts.

“I wasn’t sure about (getting) the award, there werea lot of good candidates and a lot of good rescues,” Jason told the Guardian.

“I always find it difficult to compare rescues, but the mostimportant thing is that a life was saved on that day.

“It was probably one ofthe worst rescues I’ve ever done in my life …it was the first time ever I’ve had to stop and realise the craft we had wasn’t capable of getting out straight away … thinking we might not get out there to rescue someone.

“We spent 40 minutes trying every other avenue to make the rescue possible – getting a helicopter, jet-ski, anything …after the evaluation there was a small window of opportunity to get out there and we went for it.

“I knew the risks and knew that not being able to save this personcould have been a possibility …I did ask fivemembers for assistancebefore I could get someone, which ended up beingScotty, to come out with me. That in itselfshows the difficulty and stress the conditions posed.

“I highlycommend Scotty and the whole team who assisted me with the rescue.”

Jason also said the area is in “desperateneed of a jetski” to ensure that, in situations similar to the East Coast Low in June/July, rescues are quick.

“We are working closely with our branch to achieve that outcome of having a ski stationed at Scotts Head.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.