14 March 2024

'This woman was very lucky': Here's how a 'heroic' rescue unfolded at Jervis Bay

| Zoe Cartwright
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Marine Rescue NSW volunteer Norm Stanley (left) along with a member of the public (right) saved a British tourist (centre) from a rip at Huskisson on Tuesday 12 March.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteer Norm Stanley (left) along with a member of the public (right) saved a British tourist (centre) from a rip at Huskisson on Tuesday 12 March. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

A British tourist has had a narrow escape from a rip current at Huskisson thanks to the quick thinking of Marine Rescue Jervis Bay volunteer Norm Stanley.

Norm was on radio operations duty with a fellow volunteer at the Marine Rescue Jervis Bay base when at 4 pm on Tuesday (12 March) he noticed a woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) being swept into the bay by the strong outgoing tide just south of the Huskisson pool.

Norm dashed downstairs and grabbed the first floatation device he could find – an inflatable paddleboard from the unit’s lost property.

He ran around to the beach and into the water along with a member of the public (who wishes to remain anonymous) who also noticed the woman being swept away.

Norm along with the member of the public reached the woman, a British tourist, and returned her safely to shore on the inflatable paddleboard.

Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Stuart Massey said Norm assessed the woman’s condition before returning to his post in the Marine Rescue Jervis Bay radio room.

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“The rescued woman was very thankful, she was uninjured but a little shaken and we must commend the member of the public who also assisted,” he said.

“Norm and the member of the public’s actions are nothing short of heroic and the community is fortunate to have people like them living among them; the woman was very lucky.

“On an outgoing tide the water flows incredibly fast out of Currambene Creek; in certain conditions these waters can be quite dangerous.”

Inspector Massey praised Norm’s presence of mind and said taking the time to grab the inflatable paddleboard was exceptionally quick thinking.

“To respond so quickly and rescue the woman along with assistance from the other man shows how selfless and caring he is; we are very proud to have him part of the Marine Rescue Jervis Bay family,” Inspector Massey said.

“Whilst most of our rescues involve our vessel crew assisting boaters on the water, this was a unique situation that required an immediate response with a life at risk.

“If Norm had not reacted as quickly as he did, this situation may have had a different outcome,” he said.

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Inspector Massey said Norm was extremely capable in the water and on it in a rescue craft.

“Norm is a very experienced Marine Rescue NSW volunteer; he not only volunteers in radio communications, he skippers one of our rescue vessels at the unit and is also a rescue watercraft (jet ski) operator with advanced resuscitation skills,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.

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