Ironwoman saves man from drowning
NUTRI-GRAIN ironwoman series runner-up Maddy Dunn has leapt from behind the reception desk at Northcliffe Surf Club to save a drowning tourist.
Dunn has been praised by club officials after answering the call yesterday evening to save a man caught in a rip in front of the club at Surfers Paradise and struggling to keep his head above water while being swept out to sea.
The 24-year-old didn't waste time any time when alerted to the unfolding situation around 6.15pm last night, running into the water in her work uniform.
"I was sitting behind reception and a guy called and said someone was caught in a rip," Dunn said.
"I transferred them upstairs and the manager came down asking me to go.
"The patrol had just packed up on the beach not long before. When I got down to the beach there were about 20 people sitting there watching.
"The rip was big so they didn't want to go out there so they were just watching him drown."
Dunn is used to taking on the toughest surf conditions in Australia as part of the ironwoman series, where she recently finished runner-up to Georgia Miller, making her one of the most well credentialed people for the job.
"He was a tourist from overseas," Dunn said.
"He was slowly being swept out to sea but lucky enough the waves were big enough that he was staying around the same spot for a while. He was probably halfway out to the break.
"He must have thought he was yelling but when I reached him he was very quiet. He had a tiny board and if he didn't have that he probably would have gone under.
"He was bigger than me so I tried to swim with one arm and get him in.
"We got in and he had swallowed a heap of water and was struggling. I sat with him for a bit to make sure he was OK. There were a few other people helping so I left because I needed to go back to work."
Incredibly, it's the second time Dunn has had to come to the rescue of struggling swimmers in the past couple of months.
"About three months ago there were three kids who got caught in a rip and three of us went out there in our work clothes," Dunn said.
"We have joked that our uniforms should be made of rashie material to make it easier."