Newcastle Lifeguard Recognised for 20 Years of Service
Hero receives highest honour
City of Newcastle
A veteran lifeguard in the City of Newcastle has been recognised for multiple heroic acts, spanning over a 20-year period.
Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes granted Mr. Body with a Meritorious Service Award for his life-saving protection of beachgoers.
In January, a scary occurrence where an 8-year-old girl was taken on her body board onto dangerous rocks caused Mr. Body to act quick.
The young girl was swept into a threatening 14-foot swell in the ocean, Body’s fast call-to-action saw him leap into the rapid waters along with fellow lifeguard Luke Kelly - eventually saving the girl and returning to shore.
While this was one of the freshest, more alarming incidents Mr Body encountered, it wasn’t the only one. For years of courageous service, the hero earned the highest accolade achievable from the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA).
Mr Body said he was honoured to have been recognised, describing the job as a passion for keeping citizens safe.
“It was a surprise, but definitely an honour to be recognised with this award,” Mr Body said.
“During large swells waves engulf the Canoe Pool and then bounce off the side of the ocean baths creating a strong side wash which catches people by surprise. I’m pleased our rescue that day avoided an almost certain drowning.
“As lifeguards we have the best office in the world. Every day is new and that is exciting ... we are ambassadors for our city and meet people from all over who come here to enjoy themselves.”
The Newcastle Mayor gave full praise to the work of all lifeguards who put their own health at risk.
“Our lifeguards provide an absolutely invaluable service to our community and regularly go beyond the call of duty to keep our community safe,” Ms Nelmes said.
“I’m proud that this incredible effort has been acknowledged on a national stage and I thank all of our lifeguards for their daily acts of kindness, bravery and courage.”
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