Lifesavers Never Give up!

Lifesavers Never Give up!

Gold Coast lifesavers' fight to save elderly man restored my faith in humanity

Posted on 16.10.2017

Last week a man died in my arms. I didn’t know him, and it happened so quickly that even now I struggle to remember the exact details.

One minute I was holding my young daughter’s hand, bracing ourselves as we entered the Gold Coast surf.

The next, I was dragging a drowning man back to shore.

The elderly man had suffered a suspected heart attack and collapsed face down in the waves, while a nearby family member struggled to rouse him.

His mouth momentarily lifted out of the water, and I heard a last soft groan. It was then that instinct kicked in.

At night I close my eyes trying to remember the precise details — how long it took me to reach him, whether I could’ve done more to keep his face clear of the water, whether I acted urgently enough — as if to reassure myself that we did everything we could to save him.

I remember grabbing the floating man under the armpits, flipping him onto his back, and hauling him backwards towards the shore.

“You’re okay mate, you’ll be alright,” I said — although I’m not sure who I was trying to convince.

The waves kept crashing over his face, but he was now unconscious.It was perhaps only 30 seconds before we got him to the sand. By then, all signs of life had gone — and I was exhausted.

It was all I could do to roll the man onto his side, and wave frantically for the lifeguards my daughter had bravely summoned.

But what came next was the truly remarkable part of the story.

Every summer, there are thousands of men and women who sign up to line Australia’s beaches and keep watch.

Let’s make their job easier.
Obey their simple rules — swim between the flags, close to their help.


ABC News




Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On



Pinnacle Sports Vertical Rescue Course

Learn to be capable of implementing an effective rescue
Read more



One Day Fun Day

A Free Day of Fun For 10,000 Australian Kids and Carers
Read more



7 Days, 7 Stories

7 inspirational stories from The MarkAbility Group
Read more

Latest News

Cooloola Great Walk

GET INVOLVED!  Closes August 22

Read more
Rail trail rolls closer to Yeppoon Foreshore

$455,000 extension to the Pineapple Coast Rail Trail

Read more
Walking plan aims to make great strides for Queenslanders’ health

The heart of the state’s first ever Walking Strategy

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten