WHEN three young surf lifesavers arrived for an interview about their role in Sunday's rescue of two people whose boat capsized at the Evans Head bar, they weren't expecting to be called out to another emergency.
Half way through their photoshoot yesterday the teenagers and two accompanying adults quickly packed their gear and headed to Shark Bay, where a man had been pushed up against the rocks in rough surf conditions.
It took place only 500m from Sunday's incident involving two people and their capsized tinny.
The two were trying to cross the Evans Head bar when their boat was struck by two waves in quick succession, turning the boat over.
Aidan Yourell, 16, Rachael Redman, 15, and Jacob Harcourt, 15, were called to rescue both occupants and salvage the contents of the boat.
Surf lifesavers manning an Inflatable Rescue Boat assisted bringing the two occupants to shore.
At yesterday's rescue, they were on standby, ready to help the moment the surfer was spotted.
"Instincts just kick in and we did what we'd been training to do most of our lives," Aidan said.
"It's giving back to the community, really, and making sure everyone stays safe around the beach."
Aidan and Rachael joined the surf club as nippers when they were six and only graduated towards the end of last year.
Aidan said it was their first major rescue as lifesavers.
Jacob Harcourt, 15, joined just six months ago as a way of overcoming his fear of the ocean.
"I was living near Coraki and it was a totally different experience," he said.
"I'm slowly building my confidence through the surf club."
During yesterday's incident, Evans Head Casino Surf Club treasurer Avan Christie took the teenagers to the location.
He said the surfer suffered minor injuries on impact with the rocks but he managed to swim to shore.
"His leg rope had snapped, he'd been smashed up against the rocks," Mr Christie said.
"So we grabbed the kids, came over and luckily the surfer had made his way to the beach ... He had cuts and bruises on his legs but he was apparently okay."
Ambulance officers treated the man on scene.
Surf Club age manager Rebecca Yourell said it was important for the nippers, who were club members aged up to 14 years old, to have young role models show them what they can achieve as surf lifesavers.
"Every Sunday they're in the water supporting all the younger children who are doing their first ocean swim or first board race," she said.
"They're always there to give them a hand and offer moral support.
"It was good for the younger nippers to walk around (on Sunday) and see these guys out on boards and go, oh, we could be doing that one day, look at what they can achieve."
The Evans Head Casino Surf Club is looking for candidates to register and complete their Bronze Medallion.
Completing the course is the minimum standard to qualify as a lifeguard, but it also teaches community members important water safety skills.
"You need moderate fitness but people can train up to that, it's not really hard," Mr Christie said.
"It's a great skill to have ... you learn First Aid as well."
For more information or to register, contact Evans Head Casino Surf Club on 6682 4277 or evanssurflifesaving@
The next course will begin on March 2 at 6pm at the surf club.
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