St Clair pair to attend course for lifeguards

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Keeping watch . . . St Clair Surf Life Saving Club members Mikayla Garforth (22) and Jackson Aluesi (19) will attend the National Lifeguard School in Taranaki next month. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Two Dunedin lifeguards have been selected for National Lifeguard School, the highest surf life-saving course in New Zealand.

Mikayla Garforth and Jackson Aluesi, of St Clair Surf Life Saving Club, will attend the school in Taranaki on December 6-8.

While there, they will train in advanced first aid, search and rescue, and different scenarios to gain the advanced lifeguard award qualification available to lifeguards in New Zealand.

The school combines dynamic theory sessions with intensive practical and scenario-based activities.

Twenty lifeguards from around New Zealand who hold the required qualifications, including an IRB licence and first aid training, are selected each year.

Aluesi said he always wanted to apply for the school, and it was the

They had worked their way up the ladder, having previously qualified as intermediate and senior lifeguards.

Garforth said she hoped to gain more leadership and scenario-based skills, and become more confident in first aid.

“When I’m on the beach I’m always asking myself ‘what iif’?

“It would be nice to get some guidance from professionals.

“You can never really be too equipped. The more knowledge you know the better you’re going to be.”

She has been involved in the club since she was about 7 years old, and Aluesi joined when he was 14.

There was one particular rescue that stuck out for both of them – when Aluesi performed a “double board rescue”.

Garforth was in the tower when she spotted two teenagers struggling in the water.

“There must have been 100 to 150 people in the water,” Aluesi said.

She alerted him to the couple “out in the surf” and pointed him in their direction.

“I ran down with the board, ran into the water, paddled out to them.”

When he reached the pair, the boy was already under the water and the girl was on her “last breath”

Aluesi pulled them both on to his board and waited for a wave to break to push them back to shore.

Garforth said it was an amazing rescue to watch.

“I’m really proud that we got there in time because it definitely could have turned.”