‘Sea dog’ saves drowning man

2016-03-24 06:00

AFTER saving a man from drowning, Mike “Sea dog” Halliday, will have to undergo surgery for a torn ligament he sustained to his shoulder.

Halliday, a professional paddler, had just completed an hour and a half downwind from Port Edward to Southbroom recently when he came across some commotion at Southbroom beach.

“I heard people shouting and saw them pointing out to sea. I asked a woman what was going on and she said told me her surfer husband was being swept towards Ramsgate,” he said.

Halliday then ran approached the lifeguards and asked why they weren’t out at sea trying to rescue the surfer.

“They told me they didn’t have a rescue board.”

He then grabbed his own board from the storage hut, where he keeps his ski for training, and swam out to the surfer.

“We finally got out of the water. His wife and young children were very happy.”

He said it was a huge concern that the lifeguards did not have the equipment they need to do their job.

“I didn’t realise that I hurt my shoulder and I won’t be able to train or take part in events for a while, but at least that family did not have to bury their husband and father,” he said.

Leon Garbade, owner of Tower 13 Lifegaurds, said the incident was regrettable and the two lifeguards who were on duty at the time, had been dismissed.

“There was no reason why they could not have swam out and rescued the man, even if there were no malibu boards,” said Garbade.

Garbade said the boards have been repaired and new lifeguards are now stationed at Southbroom.

“I thank Mr Halliday for his valiant efforts and wish him a speedy recovery.”

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