Tour Group Leader Helps Rescue Father & Daughter From Dangerous Surf

Off rocks at Stradbroke Island

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A young girl is in critical condition today after being rescued from rough water at Stradbroke Island on Sunday.  

The girl was swept off the rocks into dangerous water at the North Gorge before her Dad jumped in to try and save her.

The girl’s father went into shock and lifeguards were unable to get to them.

The girl was knocked unconscious before rescuers managed to reach the pair on a jet ski.

One of the rescuers, director and tour guide at Shakas Adventure Tours, Timmy Cooper said he didn’t realise someone was in trouble until he heard yelling coming from the rocks.

“I saw a couple of my American students grab the lifeguard ring… they ran down the rocks and I kind of walked down there and saw a young person lying face down in the water with the Dad kind of treading water next to her,” he said.

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Mr Cooper said they managed to get the father into the lifeguard ring before a jet ski arrived at the scene.

“We were just thinking do we jump in there and help but it was quite dangerous,” he said.

“But when I saw the jet ski he had a life ring, it died off for 20-30 seconds and we hit the die off point. I jumped in, swam over to him, grabbed the girl, held her up with one arm and grabbed the life ring and just tried to kick and pull her over to the rocks where the people were.

“Then I don't know how long it was, a minute or couple of minutes, the life guard was able to come over with fins and a floatie, he was able to grab the girl get her on the jet ski and get out.

“So, then it was just me and the Dad there.”

The lifeguards performed CPR on the girl on the back of the jet ski before bringing her to shore as Mr Cooper tried to push the man up onto the rocks with the help of bystanders.

“The Dad was in a fair bit of shock and then we just had to go get medical help,” he said.

The young girl along with Mr Cooper and the girl’s father, were all treated at the scene before the girl was airlifted to hospital.

“It was a massive team effort man, I wouldn't have made it out of the water if it wasn't for the people there to help pull me out,”

- Timmy Cooper

The girl remains in hospital fighting for life. 

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Georgie Marr

27 February 2023

Article by:

Georgie Marr

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