A 13-year-old boy from the Gold Coast has been hailed a hero for rushing into dangerous surf to rescue a man more than double his weight.
The day before his 13th birthday, Jayke Menefy was returning from a surfing trip with his family on Easter Sunday when they noticed a group of people in distress at the water's edge.
The Mermaid Beach nipper grabbed his board and paddled out through rough surf to the man who was being swept out to sea by a rip.
“Dad noticed the group of distressed people and pulled over,” Jayke said today.
“Mum was like, ‘someone’s out there, go get him’ and I paddled out and got him.
“I pulled his hand over the side of the board because he couldn’t swim, just like staying afloat so he could breathe.”
The 42kg schoolboy hauled the exhausted 100kg man on to his board and waited until help arrived to get the man back to shore.
“Because I couldn’t paddle him, I just tried to get the whitewash coming through and push him in,” he said.
“Because he was stuck in the rip we had to wait for two extra men to come.”
Jayke Menefy will be presented with an award. (SLSQ)
Jayke said he was confident in his nippers training and knew how to navigate a rip.
“I just did what had to be done,” the brave 13-year-old said.
Surf Life Saving Queensland will present Jayke with an award to acknowledge his courage.
SLSQ president Mark Fife said the rescue shows the value of nippers training.
"A large focus of the nippers program is introducing them to basic rescue and surf safety techniques and, if nothing else, we hope they can take those skills with them for the rest of their lives," Mr Fife said.
"Jayke's actions on that day were lifesaving in the truest sense of the word."
The man Jayke rescued along with his family will join Mr Fife in presenting the award to the youngster.
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