Surf rescuer,Josh Sack of Byangum west of Murwillumbah is as comfortable in a saddle as he is on a surfboard.
Surf rescuer,Josh Sack of Byangum west of Murwillumbah is as comfortable in a saddle as he is on a surfboard.

Rescuer used survival skills

By PETER CATON

A 'SURF survival' course taught at Murwillumbah High School helped a young rescuer save a life. Year 10 student Josh Sack relied on the skills he had learnt and his own strength in swimming when two nine-year-old boys were caught in a treacherous rip off the Tweed Coast last week.

Yesterday 15-year-old Josh, who is comfortable on both a surfboard and a horse saddle, was named by his mum as the lad to help another shy rescuer - Banora Point maths teacher John Besgrove - bring the two boys to safety. The rescuers had gone to the beach after four days at a pony club camp at nearby Cabarita when they saw the two boys struggling in the rip.

Both humble Josh and his proud mum Robyn give much of the credit to the surfing course taught at Murwillumbah High School and the "surf survival certificate".

"The course is fantastic," said Mrs Sack at their Byangum home, just west of Murwillumbah yesterday. "If it has saved one life, it is worth it".

Mrs Sack was full of praise for the high school which, she said, despite being in the country, took students off to the beach every Wednesday with their surfboards.

Billy King and his mate Jacob Johnson, both 9, were swept out to sea by a strong rip near the mouth of Cudgera Creek during school holidays last Tuesday morning watched by Billy's terrified mum, Lisa.

A man swimming with his young family about 20 metres further north - later identified as Mr Besgrove - realised the boys were in trouble and swam to help.

He was helped by another young surfer, now identified as Josh.

Mrs Sack said the boy Josh had gone to help was further out and Josh helped calm him and bring him towards safety until Mr Besgrove could return after taking the first boy to the beach.

Mrs Sack said she was "chuffed" when Mrs King went public in the Daily News on Monday to thank the mystery rescuers. She had wanted to call the Daily News last week but Josh had asked her not to.



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