Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club members involved in early morning rip rescue

Rescue heroes: Wauchope Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club members James and Billy Stapleton and Nick Player pulled two swimmers from a dangerous rip at Rainbow Beach, Bonny Hills on Sunday November 15.

Rescue heroes: Wauchope Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club members James and Billy Stapleton and Nick Player pulled two swimmers from a dangerous rip at Rainbow Beach, Bonny Hills on Sunday November 15.

A year 4 St Josephs Primary School Port Macquarie student has been involved in the rescue of two people at Rainbow Beach, Bonny Hills.

Billy Stapleton was enjoying an early morning paddle with his father James when they spotted a father and daughter who were struggling in a rip at the popular beach on Sunday November 15.

The duo were caught in a dangerous rip immediately off the boat ramp.

Billy is part of the Wauchope Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club's nippers program where he competes in the under 11.

James said his son remained calm during the entire rescue, despite the dramatic situation.

"I'm immensely proud for my little boy," James said.

"It was really amazing. When we spotted the swimmers we both said we had to go and help them.

"And he was right next to me the whole way.

"They were yelling out for help. When we got to them I grabbed the girl, while Billy kept the dad afloat using his surfboard.

"I also signalled (to the shore) for some help and it was lucky that a boat crew had just finished their morning row."

Boatrower Nick Player said he had just stepped out of the boat when he noticed a surfer in the water signalling for help.

I also signalled (to the shore) for some help and it was lucky that a boat crew had just finished their morning row.

James Stapleton

After grabbing a rescue board, Nick started paddling out to help with the rescue.

"I am very new to life saving, just a matter of months, and had just literally finished my bronze medallion coarse a month ago," Nick said.

"My instinct just kicked in. I didn't really think about it. Everything we learnt from our (bronze medallion) training just clicked in and the rescue just happened.

"By the time I got out there, the dad had the girl on his board and was paddling back to the sand while the young bloke had the dad holding his board.

"It was a good feeling. But it was also a strange feeling, like euphoria.

"When we did our training, we performed all sorts of scenarios; from a simple tube rescue to full-on board rescues."

Nick said he would "100 per cent" get out to help distressed swimmers.

James, who is also a bronze medallion holder at the club, said it was good to use rescue skills to help people.

"It was good to use (those skills) and it was just awesome. I was really just so proud of Billy and that he helped get the job done.

"You never know what this experience will do for him in his future.

"It was just one of those moments that hopefully he will remember forever."

The rescued duo were apologetic when they got back to the beach and thanked their rescuers.

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