Hayden Thomas Named Bay Lifeguard of the Year
LOCAL lifeguard Hayden Thomas has been recognised as Byron Bay’s Lifeguard of the Year for the 2015/16 season.
The Australian Lifeguard Service patrols nine beaches across the Byron Shire.
As each of these beaches has their own unique conditions, a key consideration for any Lifeguard is the ability to be able to adapt to any situation.
This is something that Hayden Thomas has certainly been able to do, the ALS said in a release.
This summer Hayden skilfully dealt with three major injuries that required a first aid response including a dislocated shoulder and two suspected spinal injuries.
He was also involved in a single person after hours rescue effort that earned praise from witnesses.
During the summer patrol period at around 6pm one evening Hayden was packing up for the day at Main Beach Byron Bay when he was alerted to a woman in immediate distress near The Wreck at Belongil Beach.
Having informed his partner that he was going out to perform a rescue he quickly paddled out on a board to the woman who was about to go under water.
Hayden was able to return the woman safely to shore with only minor water inhalation.
His quick response and constant vigilance ensured a happy outcome on this day.
ALS Lifeguard Northern Coordinator Scott McCartney said that Hayden is a valued part of the team.
“Hayden is a thoroughly deserving recipient of this award for his work at beaches throughout Byron Bay this summer,” Mr McCartney said.
“His easy manner means that he is able to communicate with the public effectively, an important skill for a Lifeguard, and he is also a strong role model for new recruits.
“He never asks anyone to do anything that he isn’t able to do or be prepared to do himself.”
As a result of being named Byron Bay Lifeguard of the Year, Hayden’s nomination will be put forward to a selection panel where he will be in contention to be named as a finalist for the NSW-Wide Lifeguard of the Year Awards.
An overall winner will for this prestigious award will be crowned as part of next month’s celebrations of the 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence to be held at Sydney’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel.