TEEN REWARDED FOR LIFE-SAVING ACTIONS
By HELEN JACK
SARAH MOORE thought she was too young to save someone's life, but on Australia Day the 12-year-old did just that.
"It's my first rescue and I just did what we had practised at my surf club group," Sarah said.
Sarah rescued fellow Lennox Head Surf Club member Bob Harper, who was running ahead of her along Seven Mile Beach prior to a club's training day.
Mr Harper collapsed and lay unconscious face first in the sand, unable to breath.
Sarah was the first to reach him and took charge of the situation, enlisting the help of friends Mikayla Gray and Jack Harris, and two women walking along the beach.
Jack was sent running back to the club house to alert adults, while Sarah turned Bob on to his side.
This simple action saved Bob's life, unblocking his airway and allowing him to breathe.
And to recognise her bravery and clear thinking during an emergency situation, Sarah was awarded Lennox Head Surf Club's Chairman's Trophy on Saturday.
A little overcome with all the attention, Sarah explained that she had been a member of Lennox Head Surf Lifesaving Club since she was eight years old.
"I don't know CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) but I know emergency skills and I just went into what I had been taught," she said.
"It was very scary.
"I did not cry but I was shocked; I felt like I knew nothing and for the rest of the day I felt sick because we did not know what had happened to him."
Mr Harper was taken to Ballina Hospital where he was found to have a 90 per cent blockage of his main artery.
"I've received a Stent to release the blockage," Mr Harper said.
"This has never happened to me before; it's great to be alive and I am very grateful to Sarah and everyone.
"I am very proud of Sarah and her training."
Mr Harper said he would be taking it easy for another six months before he resumes his training schedule.
Club chairman Wayne Jones said he was very impressed that Sarah, as a 12-year-old, was able to command a situation with adults and take the lead.
"Other kids panic, adults as well," he said.
"But for a 12-year-old to hold her nerve and instruct older people to do things is a great result.
"People panic because they don't know what to do.
"And it's harder when you know and care for the person you are helping.
"At the club we teach them what to do and the kids that have the capacity to step up will do that and Sarah is a perfect example of that.
"To have a 12-year-old see quickly there was something wrong and target other people to help is very unusual."