BRAVE: Keira Waldron,14, Jacinta Strathearn,16, and Paige Gardner,15, helped rescue a family in the surf at Moffat Beach.
BRAVE: Keira Waldron,14, Jacinta Strathearn,16, and Paige Gardner,15, helped rescue a family in the surf at Moffat Beach. Warren Lynam

Schoolgirls' heroics save family from beach tragedy

THREE teenage schoolgirls have rescued a family from drowning at an unpatrolled stretch of beach in a dramatic start to the holidays.

Caloundra State High School students Jacinta Strathearn, 16, Keira Waldron, 14, and Unity College student Paige Gardner, 15, sprung into action after hearing cries for help at Moffat Beach about midday today.

Three children had been caught after swimming into a rip and swept out and their panicked mother who went in to save them was also in trouble.

Paramedics said the family had taken on seawater and were nauseous, vomiting and in shock when they were taken to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

It could've been so much worse if not for the bravery of the three girls.

"It just happened really quickly," Keira said.

"I ran down the beach to try and help them."

 

RESCUERS: Keira Waldron,14, Jacinta Strathearn,16, and Paige Gardner,15, helped rescue a family in the surf at Moffat Beach.
RESCUERS: Keira Waldron,14, Jacinta Strathearn,16, and Paige Gardner,15, helped rescue a family in the surf at Moffat Beach. Warren Lynam

With no lifesaving experience, Keira raced into the shore break to save three members of the family, who were being battered by heavy waves.

Meanwhile former lifesaver Jacinta swam out through the rip to about 50-60m offshore, to the floundering teenage girl.

She kept her distance but calmed the girl down, while Keira, who'd brought the other three to safety, grabbed a boogie board and swam it out the back to help Jacinta.

Another young man named Jordan helped bring the teenage girl in on the boogie board through the treacherous shore break while Paige worked to calm the family on the beach until paramedics arrived.

"They were all in shock," Keira said.

"The mum was vomiting and could barely walk," Paige said.

Jacinta said it had all happened pretty quickly, but it didn't feel like it at the time.

"I've never really seen someone in that much trouble," she said.

"I knew Keira had the people near the shore, I knew she had that covered."

Monday was dangerous on Coast beaches with eight people rescued in Noosa.

Scott Sawyer



Funding cools down Woodgate Community Hall

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The funding was granted as part of the Stronger Communities Program