A SURFBOAT crew from Torquay SLSC has proven its worth not only in competition but also in rescue skills.
The Under 19 Honey Badgers were packing up at the end of a training session at Fishermans Beach in Torquay on Thursday last week when they spotted three children on inflatable bodyboards in trouble in the water.
The children aged, 11, 11 and 13 were visiting from western Melbourne, and had been blown out to sea in an offshore wind and were floating towards Barwon Heads.
The Honey Badgers sprang into action, Remony Reid swimming about 300 metres out into the bay to keep the children calm while Ella O’Hanlon, Julia O’Hanlon, Meg Davey and Darienne Reid got the boat ready, rowed out to retrieve the children and their bodyboards, and rowed them back against the wind.
All three children were in good spirits but happy to be back on shore.
Thursday’s rescue follows Torquay SLSC’s female surfboat crews winning gold in the Under 19s and bronze in the Under 23s in the state championships on April 4.
“The girls have been rowing for about two years and put in a lot of time and hard work training – they’re out on the water at first light several times a week and do a lot of training off the water in the gym and on the erg,” sweep and coach Pat Spinazzola said.
“They also participate as active volunteer lifesavers on their own patrol throughout the season. Their commitment is unbelievable.
“It’s been great to see the crew develop their skills both from a rowing perspective and a lifesaving perspective, and to see both of those skill sets come together and result in a positive outcome for the kids being rescued and their families was really inspiring.”