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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 525

Mr HOGAN (Page) (13:50): Last month at Pippi Beach in Yamba there were some great acts of courage. About 100 swimmers were in the water when two surfers and six teenage swimmers were sucked out to sea in a rip after a series of freak waves. Luckily, lifeguards Mikey Gilliman and Harry Fahey were on duty and immediately sprang into action. With a surfer already out beyond the break line, the lifeguards told him and the two surfers, Shane Henwood and Shane Sutherland, to form a floating platform for the teenagers to hang onto while they methodically brought each one back to shore one by one. It took both young men over 20 minutes to complete the rescue. After the last person was rescued, beachgoers spontaneously clapped and cheered the lifesavers. Clarence Valley lifeguard supervisor, Greg Wyllie, described the rescue as professional, methodical and impressive. He also noted that both guards exhibited an extreme amount of fitness and skill. The swimmers were all swimming between the flags, and this highlights the significance and importance of our volunteer lifeguards.

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): There is a lot of background noise. I think it is important that members are heard in silence.

Mr Hogan: I would like to thank Harry, Mikey, the two Shanes and the surfer involved in their great effort, and I extend that thanks to our lifeguards on beaches everywhere for the selfless and wonderful work they do for our communities.