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Surf Life Saving Australia Rescue Medal Recipients

On Wednesday the 6th of July, 2022, Trigg Island Surf Lifesaving Club Director, Rob Innocent and his daughter Sascha Innocent, found themselves utilizing their rescue skillsets to aid a young girl and her mother in Queensland.

Riding their bikes between Noosa and Coolum, on a family ride, Rob spontaneously made the decision to go check out the surf at North Peregian Beach, a decision that led to the prevention of a tragedy. As they were about to leave and continue their ride, Sascha noticed the young girl they’d seen going to the beach with her mum earlier, in the water waving frantically to her mum, approximately 100 meters out from shore.
Sascha sensed that something wasn’t right about this situation and lept to action, especially after hearing a scream. Rob quickly joined, with both him and Sascha taking off their shoes and tops as they bolted down the sand and got into the water.
Rob’s wife Sal, ran to the car park to see if there was a surfboard to assist if needed.

“There was a big rip 100m down the beach to our left (north) and it was sucking out to sea which the girl must have gone out in and it was dragging her out and sideways from the north to south and she was at least 100m out by this time. The one thing I was praying as we both went as quickly as we could be for the young girl (think she was maybe 12) to keep her head above water. Not sure how long it took to get out there but we ran, duck-dived and porpoised at least half a dozen waves before having to swim ~30m to get to her. She was pretty frantic by then but calmed down pretty quick as we helped her in” – Rob Innocent

After reaching her, and rendering assistance, Rob and Sascha, swam her safely to shore, one on either side, helping her duck under the many waves they faced as they got back in. Thankfully they all got to shore safely and the young girl was reunited with her mother.

“So many sliding door moments that led to a fantastic outcome. There were only two other people on the beach (bar the surfers a lot further out), an older surfie guy who said he wanted to assist but there was no way he could have got out and a local lady who had wandered down to the beach as all this was happening. She mentioned someone had died about 200m up the beach from where this unfolded a few months ago. Years of surf club experience made a huge difference. Really happy in hindsight that neither of us thought twice (bar assessing the situation) and were able to put years of beach and club experience through training and competing to make a difference” – Rob Innocent

We would like to take the time to congratulate Rob and Sascha on their recognition of the Surf Life Saving Australia Rescue Medal. This award is presented to those who demonstrate outstanding rescue skills, rescue management, displays of initiative, and resourcefulness. Congratulations Rob and Sascha Innocent on being recognized for this accolade and the work you continue to do to ensure the safety of a community.

Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club acknowledges the traditional owners, the Whadjuk People of the Noongar Nation, of the beach on which we work and play. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and are grateful for their continuing connection to the land, sea and sky.