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Did you hear the one about the brave Noosa lifesaver and the Pommie policeman?

Insights

BoJo and Scomo’s elbow bump made global headlines, but a far more dramatic beachside meeting between a British bloke and an Australian deserves some attention, writes Rebecca Levingston

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Not long after the media’s focus withdrew from world leaders at the G7 summit in Cornwall, an Englishman nearly drowned. He was saved by a Queenslander.

Jon Marshall is a retired British police officer. He’s a decent-sized gent by his own admission and on the last day of his beach break, he found himself in terrible trouble in the surf. Jon was convinced he would die.

He was rescued by Tori Farmer, a Noosa lifeguard who packed her bags in April and headed over to the UK. You might remember this article about here from earlier this year:
https://inqld.com.au/opinion/2021/04/14/where-young-australians-once-took-a-gap-year-now-the-gap-is-all-that-remains/

Tori arrived at Heathrow with surfboards and was whisked out of the arrivals lounge with COVID 19 test kits. She spent 10 days in quarantine and then quickly dived into lifeguard duties on Newquay Beach, which is about a 40 minute drive from where Presidents and Prime Ministers gathered a week ago.

Last Thursday, when Jon waded into the water, Tori was watching.

Here’s how Jon described being rescued…

This afternoon I came within minutes of dying.

On a beach I’ve visited & swum in all my life… one which I’m aware of the dangers and have always taken care on. I was less than chest height, between the red and yellow flags, having a gentle float/swim.

Within a minute or so I found myself caught in a rip, being taken out to sea at a great pace.

I have never been more pleased to see anyone in my life as I was to see Alex and Tori (pictured)

After a valiant attempt to bring me in on their boards, the rip and waves were too strong and I was becoming very weak and swallowed a huge amount of water.

Their encouragement and obvious dedication to their job gave me the strength to fight and after what seemed like an age I was eventually brought in clinging to the back of a jetski.

Typical me, I not only lost my @GoPro during the rescue, but also my swim shorts.

However after fifteen minutes of fighting for my life, I didn’t really care if the spectators on the beach saw me naked.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I would have died today if I had been in the water much longer.

I have worked in public service most of my life and have saved several lives and seen many acts of bravery.

But I have never seen such determined and selfless dedication as I did today. Alex said that it was one of the hardest rescues in six years and the sea conditions were so bad that they closed the beach after my rescue.

Their aftercare was exemplary & I cannot find words to thank or praise them enough. If I wasn’t going home in the morning I would be taking them all for a pint.

Thank you all for risking your lives today to save mine. Forever indebted to you.

Jon wasn’t ashamed to admit that he kissed the jet-ski as he left the beach.

Tori agrees that it was the toughest rescue of her career. She’s nursing sore muscles from fighting the waves but she’s mostly relieved that Jon is alive. Tori didn’t see much G7 fanfare as she was too busy patrolling the Cornwall waves to observe international diplomacy.

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/mornings/queensland-life-guard-saved-cornwall-mans-life/13403394

Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison swapped Tim Tams and Penguins to prove their mateship. But on the beach, it seems there’s no better friend to a Brit than an Aussie.

 

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