Surf life saver training turns into rescue … of a kangaroo
What started out as an early-morning training session for members of Brighton Surf Life Saving Club turned into a dramatic rescue mission of odd proportions.
The Broncos open women's surf boat crew took off at 5.30am and were rowing towards Seacliff, about 30m off shore, when they came across a marsupial in the sea.
"We thought we saw a dog in the water, but it was actually a kangaroo," crew member Di Johns says.
"It was a bit frantic, so we herded it around to make it go back into shore but as soon as it got close it jumped back out into the water.
"It was so flat and such a beautiful morning, I think because so many people were on the beach by 6am it kept going out in the water."
The crew's sweep, Chris Hillard, managed to pull the struggling animal on-board as it tried to cling to their oars, before it was rowed into shore.
Local resident Paul Kennedy was on hand to put her in the back of the surf club's ATV and drive her to safety.
"It was exhausted, I don't think it would have lasted much longer," Ms Johns says.
"Sadly, it had a joey in its pouch, but it was really young and wouldn't have survived."
The kangaroo could not have been in safer hands because Ms Johns is a former vet nurse, crew member Regan Smallacombe a trainee paramedic and fellow teammate Dayna Blyth a nurse.
The kangaroo was contained in a recycling bin until Fauna Rescue arrived. She has been affectionately named Bronte, after the boat crew that rescued her.
"I never thought I'd see a kangaroo in the ocean, but once we got her on to the beach we all saw a pod of dolphins, so I'm not sure what was going on today," Ms Johns says.
Originally published as Surf life saver training turns into rescue … of a kangaroo