Caloundra Nippers Tai Lyon 14, Lily Taylor 13, Molly Webster 13, Ryan Dunshea 13, Jade Gardiner 13 and Maggie Princehorn, 12. Picture: Lachie Millard
Caloundra Nippers Tai Lyon 14, Lily Taylor 13, Molly Webster 13, Ryan Dunshea 13, Jade Gardiner 13 and Maggie Princehorn, 12. Picture: Lachie Millard

Everyday Heroes: Nippers risked lives to save swimmers

WHEN it comes to everyday heroes, here are six of the best.

The Sunshine Coast junior surf lifesavers are the first wave of 2018 nominees for an award that recognises Queenslanders who have made a difference in their community.

Jade Gardiner, 13, Tai Lyon, 14, Maggie Princehorn, 12, Lily Taylor, 13, Ryan Dunshea, 13, and Molly Webster, 13, shape as strong contenders in the 12-17 years category of the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards, now open for entries.

They were nominated after saving seven stricken swimmers in a dramatic rescue during the Easter school holidays.

The nippers, from Metropolitan Caloundra club at Kings Beach, were surfing on their racing boards at Happy Valley, near the mouth of the Pumicestone Passage.

Caloundra Nippers Tai Lyon 14, Lily Taylor 13, Molly Webster 13, Ryan Dunshea 13, Jade Gardiner 13 and Maggie Princehorn, 12. Picture: Lachie Millard
Caloundra Nippers Tai Lyon 14, Lily Taylor 13, Molly Webster 13, Ryan Dunshea 13, Jade Gardiner 13 and Maggie Princehorn, 12. Picture: Lachie Millard

This beach is unpatrolled and prone to strong rips and currents and when the young wave warriors noticed two groups of swimmers being dragged to sea they knew exactly what had to be done.

The super six swiftly co-ordinated a relay of rescues, beginning with those who appeared most distressed.

Jade's mother Dee said parents and clubmates could not be prouder of the young lifesavers, who also were very humble about their heroic actions.

Jade said she remained calm and collected during the event although was quite exhausted by the end of it all.

She said she was happy the group had noticed the warning signs and been able to intervene before it was "too late''.

Tai Lyon 14, Maggie Princehorn 12, Jade Gardiner 13, Ryan Dunshea 13, Molly Webster 13 and Lily Taylor, 13. Picture: Lachie Millard
Tai Lyon 14, Maggie Princehorn 12, Jade Gardiner 13, Ryan Dunshea 13, Molly Webster 13 and Lily Taylor, 13. Picture: Lachie Millard

QBANK CEO Mike Currie said he was looking forward to hearing the amazing stories of those across Queensland who had made a difference.

"Last year we saw nominations ranging from police officers who have shown astounding courage in difficult situations, through to teenagers who demonstrated leadership and compassion by starting social sporting groups for children with disabilities,'' he said.

Awards are presented in six categories including: Achievement, Ownership, Dedication, Working Together, Excellence and the Young Everyday Hero Award.

Winners receive prizemoney of $1000, with a further $1000 donated to a charity of the award recipient's choice. The Young Everyday Hero award winner will receive a $500 bursary.

To nominate someone in your community, go to: www.qbank.com.au/community-proud/everyday-heroes-awards.


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