One Mile caravan park regular Sue Dean has been recognised in the 2017 Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence.
Mrs Dean had come to the assistance of a father and daughter caught in a rip at One Mile Beach on January 5.
The Castle Hill resident spends her summer holidays at the beach and was on an afternoon walk when she and friend Lynda Thompson noticed the pair struggling out of their depth.
While Mrs Thompson alerted surf lifesavers and called Triple-0, Mrs Dean set off with a boogie board to help the father and daughter. She was able to calm the pair until a surf life saver was able to arrive.
“I was quite honoured to receive the award,” Mrs Dean said.
“Hearing some of the stories on the night of what these volunteers do day-to-day was incredible. You have a whole new appreciation of what what they do for the public.”
Mrs Dean was the only non-surf life saver to receive an award at the ceremony.
“Unfortunately, holidaying at One Mile all the time, you see people swimming outside the flags all the time,” she said.
“Maybe there needs to be some sort of promotion that it’s cool to swim between the [red and yellow] flags.”
While she said it was an honour to receive the individual certificate of merit, Mrs Dean said it was an unpleasant memory.
“I try not to think about it too much,” she said.
When Mrs Dean spoke to the Examiner in January she said there had been sleepless nights.
“We we’re very lucky to come out of it. I don’t think I would ever do it again… actually, I know I will never do it again.”
The father and daughter remain unknown to Mrs Dean, who was able to return to shore unassisted.
While the father had thanked her after the incident, at which time paramedics and police had arrived, there were no numbers exchanged and there’s been no contact.
“Hopefully they wouldn’t do something like that again,” she said.
“My husband [Darren] and I will be back at Christmas for a few weeks and swimming between the flags.”
More than 300 surf lifesavers and dignified guests attended the Art Gallery of NSW on November 4 to honour Surf Life Saving’s most distinguished and bravest members at the 2017 Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence.