I’m washing the dishes after a classic nachos nosh with Paula and daughter Isis when our neighbour Lauren txted asking if we could hear someone yelling for help. Sure enough from the backyard you could hear that eerie call. I’m straight into my 3 plugger Dad thongs, Paula hands me our favourite whacky stick and I’m jogging toward the distressed male voice on the fortunate lack of wind as we wouldn’t have heard him otherwise.
I thinking I’d be smashing a window to hop into a house to save a fallen elderly person. But as I’m pelting through the dark streets it dawns on me that it’s coming from the beach. I fang through the bush and dunes and enter the scene on the shore of about 6 people crowded around the high beams of a 4 wheel drive pointing out over the rocks into pitch black sea. His voice still wailing into shore.
I spot a young boy sheepishly holding a blue foamy learner mal and I figure stuff letting that kid go, I’ve got the Rocky theme song going in my head from the half kilometre jog, plus I’m old and smelly and have had a pretty good innings. And this is the point in the rescue scenario where everybody should please press stop on the inner hellperson soundtrack and think. I did. As I handed my dialling phone to a random strsnger I noticed that Paula had txted that 000 had been called and on their way so knowing this I figured emergency services weren’t too far off. What I have to stress is that the reason I couldn’t stand by is that if that voice trailed off into the darkness it would have haunted all of us standing there on the beach till our dying days.
So I stripped to my grundies, strapped on the legrope, adrenaline pumping and that constant call for help as my only guide.
To be continued as Instagram won’t let me talk the lid off an iron pot… (“About there” is where the guy was sitting on top of his capsized tinnie in the dark in 12°C water/10°C outside.
I know it was past the red bouy because when we were paddling in, what I thought was another rescuer with a glow stick in his gob turned out to be the light from the torch in my chattering teeth reflecting off it.)