Evans man awarded for rescuing four people in an hour
EVANS HEAD Casino Surf Club treasurer Avan Christie has been awarded the national and NSW rescue of the month for saving the lives of four people who were stuck in rips within half an hour.
On April 6 at 4.40pm, Mr Christie said he stopped in at the surf club to get a receipt book when he was told four people were in trouble at Main Beach.
"I went and grabbed a board and went out and there was a young girl and her grandmother caught in a rip near the break wall.
"I grabbed the girl and came back in then went back out to get the grandmother. Two boys who were also caught in the rip had made their way back in."
When he got the grandmother to shore, Mr Christie was asking her if she'd swallowed any water when a person ran 1km from Airforce Beach and said two more people were stuck in a rip.
"So I grabbed the board and ran up to Airforce Beach and paddled out where a 15 to 16-year-old girl had got stuck and her boyfriend went to save her and he got stuck," he said.
Fatigued and struggling, Mr Christie said it was fortunate lifesaver Rolan Murcott arrived at the scene, as the boy and girl were now 500m offshore.
"As I was paddling out Rolan swam out and we got them both on the board and pushed them onto a wave and they caught the wave into the beach," he said.
But now Mr Christie was caught in the rip.
"I started to struggle and then I started to swim across the rip, making slow progress," he said.
"Rolan saw that I was struggling so he grabbed the board the kids had just used to get in and came back out.
"I jumped on the board and was glad to see him.
"The ambulance took the elderly lady and they girl from Airforce Beach to hospital."
Mr Christie will receive his award at a special ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra.