Surfer rescues girl at Pt Leo

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AN experienced Pt Leo surfer paddled out to rescue a teenage girl stranded in choppy and gusty conditions last week.

Hastings police Sergeant John Cannon said the girl, 18, got into trouble on her board at popular break “Suicides” just north of the Pt Leo Lifesaving Club, 12.45pm, Tuesday 11 September.

She had been surfing with a friend when they got into difficulties in the strong north wind and current and was exhausted. With conditions deteriorating, her companion managed to paddle ashore and alert authorities. The girl was unable to follow him.

First Constable Daniel Crisp, of Hastings police, said the police helicopter arrived and did a fly over before reconfiguring for a winch rescue. As it hovered over the girl, and with up to 10 paramedics and ambulance crews waiting on the shore, the local surfer, 41, took the initiative.

“He offered to help,” Constable Crisp said. “He made an active decision to go and get the girl and bring her in. He did what he could to help.”

The hero didn’t wait around for pats on the back. “When he brought her in he walked off without giving his name, but I’m sure he was a local man,” Constable Crisp said.

The girl was taken by ambulance to Frankston Hospital suffering hypothermia.

First published in the Frankston Times – 17 September 2018

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