By LUKE VOOGT
BARWON Heads resident Sally Smith is searching for five heroic beach-goers, who she says saved her life just days before Christmas.
Sally, 54, was swimming at Raafs Beach (19W) on 18 December, after her daughter had left, when she was caught in a rip.
“Within seconds I was being sucked out and I couldn’t get my feet on the ground,” she said.
Sally said if the rip had dragged her into the deep she would not have survived.
“I knew if I floated out no one would be able to see me,” she said.
“I tried to swim against the current but I had no hope.”
In desperation, she called for help.
“I screamed to two boys in the shallows,” she said.
“Eventually they heard me and called to three ladies nearby.”
The women didn’t hesitate, diving into the surf to rescue Sally.
“These ladies were like porpoises,” she said. “They dived in and swam straight at me.”
The women told Sally to lie on her back and formed a human chain to drag her in.
“The deepest one risked her life – she could have been sucked in too,” she said.
“Her feet were off the ground and she was relying on the woman who was holding onto her.
“Once she grabbed my hand I could breathe – it was an incredible relief.”
Eventually the quick-thinking trio pulled her back to shore.
Sally was extremely grateful to her rescuers and wanted to thank them in person.
She said one of the brave boys, named “Oscar”, was five years old, while the other was about 10, with glasses and dark hair.
“I think his name was Raj,” she said.
“For those boys to call out to strangers was incredibly brave – I thought they were their mothers but they weren’t.”
Sally was unable to describe the women, due to shock.
“They did say their names but I was in such a state that I couldn’t remember them,” she said.
Speaking to the Voice last weekend, Sally vowed she would never swim outside the flags again.
“I was just going in for a quick 10 minute dip and I’ve swum at Ocean Grove for my whole life,” she said.
“But once I got sucked out I didn’t have a chance.”
Do you know anything thing about Sally’s rescuers? Or any other unsung local heroes? If so email firstname.lastname@example.org.