ON Christmas Eve last year, Benaraby resident Ryan Beecroft began a shift at Tannum Sands Surf Lifesaving Club that he would remember forever.
At 10am that day, a combination of high tides, a strong current and the presence of a rip meant that a grandmother and child required urgent assistance.
After performing a dual rescue and ensuring the family would celebrate Christmas together, 19-year-old Mr Beecroft was awarded a Queensland Lifesaving Excellence Award.
"I fulfilled the duties of my job," he said. "I just enjoy giving back to the community and keeping people safe."
Swimming off Wild Cattle Island, the duo were sucked into a rip where they were overwhelmed by the large surf.
"The surf was clearly too big, the grandmother was struggling and she couldn't support the child,'' he said.
"I performed a tube rescue as soon as I saw trouble, and after receiving oxygen they both recovered well."
The Jack Dearlove Medallion was last month awarded to Mr Beecroft at an awards ceremony at Hervey Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.
Mr Beecroft is very familiar with the local beaches of Tannum Sands.
"I have been lifesaving for almost ten years now," he said. "I began in the Under 8s at Tannum Sands and now I volunteer whenever I am home".
The Jack Dearlove Medallion recipient currently spends most of his time in Tasmania, studying Ocean Engineering at the Australian Maritime College.
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