FOUR Evans Head lifesavers gave a Queensland tourist a new lease on life, and in return Mike Browning has given them a $2000 boost.
The dedicated Evans Heads Casino Surf Lifesaving Club members rescued the Gin Gin, near Bundaberg, resident last season soon after the patrol had closed for the day.
Mr Browning has just written a letter of thanks, dated two days before Christmas, and sent a cheque to the club.
“Thank you for saving my life,” Mr Browning wrote.
“I had only about 20 seconds to live.
“I had squandered all my strength trying to outswim the rip I was in. I could not get to shore.
“It was a huge relief to feel strong arms suddenly heave me from the water into the inflatable boat. I had none left at all.”
Volunteer Wendy Roberts noticed the lone swimmer having a dip in a rip north of Main Beach and stayed behind to watch.
“Something just didn’t feel right about it,” she said.
“He didn’t look to be in trouble but it was strange that the only person in the water was swimming in a rip, well away from the flagged area.”
Ms Roberts asked club volunteer Judy Robson to keep an eye him, while she ran to get patrol members Mick Robson and Craig Ellis who launched an inflatable rescue boat and sped to the scene.
Mr Browning was still bobbing in the water.
He had given no sign of distress but as the two surf lifesavers got closer it was obvious he was in trouble.
They wasted no time hauling him aboard, so he didn’t slip below the surface.
Mr Browning was treated for shock.