LATE RESCUE: Teisha Towner was packing up when she noticed four swimmers in a rip at oaks Beach, Burnett Heads.
LATE RESCUE: Teisha Towner was packing up when she noticed four swimmers in a rip at oaks Beach, Burnett Heads. Paul Donaldson BUN021016LIFE5

How saving four lives took Teisha to Canberra

WHEN lifeguard Teisha Towner saw a group of swimmers struggling in the waves, instinct and adrenaline kicked in.

On October 1, the 21 year old recued four people who were in trouble in waters off Oaks Beach and today her heroic efforts were honoured.

Ms Towner, who received Surf Life Saving Australia's National Rescue of the Month award in Parliament House, said the accolade had come as a nice surprise.

"I definitely wasn't expecting it,” she said.

"At the ceremony, I was one of three who received the award and the only sole rescuer - the rest were group rescues.”

The Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club member said the rescue happened about 5.15pm when she was packing up for the day.

She said she noticed two adults and two young girls being quickly swept from shore in a rip current.

By the time she reached the group of four, who were pulled out behind the north rock wall, the girls were holding on to the adults and pushing them under.

"I paddled the board out and told the adults to hold on while I put the girls on top of the board,” Ms Towner said.

"I have done a few rescues before but what made this one so challenging was the fact that there were four people to help and only one of me.”

Ms Towner said she believed the swimmers could have drowned if she hadn't of been at Oaks Beach that afternoon .

She said the experience was exactly why she became a surf life saver.

"I do it because I just really love to help people.”

RESCUE: Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt with Teisha Towner today.
RESCUE: Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt with Teisha Towner today. Contributed

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt today presented Ms Towner with the National Rescue of the Month award and said her efforts were greatly admired.

"Without the action and advanced rescue skills displayed by Teisha there could have been a very different outcome for the swimmers on that day in October,” Mr Pitt said.

"Today's award is well and truly deserved and it was my honour to be able to present it to Teisha here in Canberra.

"As a former surf lifesaver, I appreciate the superb job our surf lifesavers carry out on our local beaches and the dedication they show to their job.”

Teisha Towner with her National Rescue of the Month award.
Teisha Towner with her National Rescue of the Month award. Andrew Taylor


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