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Christmas Appeal 2018

Help us be rescue ready this Christmas

Watch the incredible rescue story of our Birubi Beach volunteer surf lifesavers

“Looking back, I realise that we were incredibly lucky. I think given another 30 seconds, and it would have turned out a lot worse."

- Yiyang Chen, rescued by volunteer surf lifesavers.

Volunteer surf lifesavers are dedicated to saving lives. They do so by generously giving up their own time, even during the festive season.

Will you please help our volunteer surf lifesavers to be rescue ready this Christmas by generously giving a gift?

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An afternoon cool down turns to disaster

Yiyang is in his mid-20s living in Sydney, and never in a million years did he expect a trip to Port Stephens with his girlfriend and her family to take a turn for the worse.

After visiting the local sand dunes, the group were a little hot and decided to cool off at Birubi Beach not far away. They arrived at the beach at about 5.30 pm and although the surf lifesavers had packed up for the day, there were still people swimming. They thought they would be OK.

“My girlfriend and I were playing around near the shore and her brother had walked out a little further,” Yiyang says.

“He would come over occasionally or wave at us, but then we noticed that he looked really worried."

Both swimmers decided to head towards the struggling man; however, it wasn’t long before Yiyang and his girlfriend were suddenly caught in a voilent rip current.

Can you imagine the panic Yiyang was feeling? He was alone in the open water. There was no help in sight.


Birubi Beach rescue news article

Birubi Point SLSC’s debrief became an after-hours rescue

Back at the Birubi Point SLSC club house, the surf lifesavers had finished packing up and were debriefing over the day’s events – they had performed several rescues during their patrol.

In a miraculous turn of events, they saw through the window that a number of surfers were signalling for help, and there was a group of people standing on the water’s edge. Upon closer inspection, it was clear that swimmers were caught in a rip current.

Patrol Captain Steve was quick to assess the situation. He knew the club house was about 200 metres from the shore and the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) had already been put away, so he ordered his team to grab the rescue boards.

Angus, a 15-year-old surf lifesaver, recalls the moment: “I wasn’t on patrol that day but had gone up to the club because Mum had been patrolling... all of a sudden I heard  Mum yelling for me to go down to help.” 

Help us this Christmas
Thank you for your generous gift this Christmas

The team worked quickly to save the group

Angus was first on the scene with a rescue board.   

“I probably paddled out 100 metres or so to reach the brother. He was in the worst possible spot to be rescued because there were waves crashing in on him and you could feel the strength of the rip current.  This was my first major rescue, and it really hit me when I was out there that it was bad.”

In an incredible feat, Angus managed to place the man onto the rescue board.  While Angus was making the difficult journey to shore with the brother, the other surf lifesavers and surfers were also battling the ocean to safely rescue the remaining two swimmers. 

On the shore the team worked to gather the first aid equipment needed, including oxygen and a defibrillator.   Once the trio were bought onto the beach the volunteers spent 30 minutes monitoring their condition until the ambulance arrived. 

Yiyang’s girlfriend and her brother were rushed to hospital and it is thanks to the determination and skill of the volunteer surf lifesavers that this story has a happy ending – everyone  survived and faced no permanent damage.

Donate Today

Your generosity is behind every patrol, every rescue and every life that they save.

It is because of the generous donations from people like you that our surf lifesavers are ready to protect beachgoers, like Yiyang, at a moment’s notice. 

It takes a community to save lives, and here are some of the ways your Christmas gift could help:

$1,575 helps go towards a rescue board, which played a critical role in safely returning these three swimmers to shore.

$1,600 helps go towards an oxygen resuscitation kit, equipment that was paramount for keeping Yiyang’s girlfriend and her brother alive.

$18,000 helps go towards a Side by Side vehicle, like the one the surf lifesavers used to quickly transport the life saving equipment needed to assist the three swimmers on the beach.

The upcoming festive season is expected to be busy, and as this rescue story at Birubi Beach illustrates, our volunteer surf lifesavers are dedicated to protecting everyone in the water.

Help us this Christmas