How a split-second decision saved six lives
A BUDERIM teenager and his French cousin have been hailed as heroes, saving six people from "certain death" who were swept more than 100m offshore at Coolum.
Dane and Karter Pinder were in the "right place in the right time" about noon yesterday when they made a snap decision to head to Second Bay after disappointing small waves at Noosa.
Had they headed to Kawana as originally planned, the six swimmers would have likely perished.
"There was a lot of water moving around, we were getting smashed," Dane said.
While Dane, who is visiting from France, was making his way out to the breaks, he noticed a group of three girls and one boy "struggling" about 100m offshore and well outside the flags.
Soon after he spotted an older couple closer in - both in need of help.
With a quick scan of the beach, the pair saw no lifeguards in sight, and despite having little training other than nippers, raced to help.
Their friend Jaz McKenzie remained on the beach alerting authorities, who responded as timely as possible.
"This one girl was really far out, like a long way, maybe 150m, and I saw her go under, so she was my main priority," Dane, 19, said.
"I pulled her up by her hair, she was under for quite a while and puking up a lot of water.
"I just tried to calm her and stayed with her."
As the first rescue was unfolding, 15-year-old Karter picked up two adults in a rip who were in a state of panic.
"They were getting sucked out, it was a rough situation," Karter said.
"I was stuck with them. One grabbed my leg and board. Lucky that's when the lifeguards on jetski turned up."
With the help of the supporting lifeguards, all six swimmers were brought safely back to shore and later treated by paramedics.
Lifeguard supervisor Trent Robinson praised the boy's efforts in "100 per cent" preventing a tragedy occurring.
"We were the only people there, if we weren't there they would have died. They should have been between the flags," Dane said.