Aussie schoolboys save tourist from drowning in heroic act

The boys put their own lives at risk to save the struggling woman from the surf.

On a sunny afternoon last week, Finn Casper and some fellow classmates were wrapping up a school surfing lesson when the 14-year-old spotted something in the corner of his eye.

While walking back up the stairs at Woolgoolga Back Beach, on the NSW Mid North Coast, the Year 9 student told Yahoo News Australia he spotted an object “floating out in a rip about 100 metres away”.

Quickly realising it was a swimmer in a deadly situation, Finn shouted out to his classmates Koby Kudrins and Jack Hayes, both 13, that a young woman “in deep water” was “struggling”.

John Elliott (teacher), Koby Kudrins, Finn Casper, Jack Hayes and John Morgan (teacher) stand on the sand at Woolgoolga Back Beach
John Elliott (teacher), Koby Kudrins, Finn Casper, Jack Hayes and John Morgan (teacher). Source: Supplied

Koby and Jack both ran towards the woman, with the latter telling Yahoo he just kept thinking he needed to “get to her as soon as possible”.

However, Koby — who is a surf club member — suddenly stopped when he realised he didn’t have his board and it would be dangerous to enter the water without it, John Morgan, one of the surfing teachers at Woolgoolga High School, said.

Instead, he assisted Jack, who ran to the water and paddled out on his own board.

The 13-year-old told Yahoo he was able to lift the woman — who they believe to be a tourist — to safety and bring her back to shore.

“She told me she was fine, just a bit tired,” Jack recalled.

Three schoolboys look out at the surf on Woolgoolga Back Beach.
The boys recognised the danger the woman was in but didn't hesitate to put their skills to the test to save her. Source: Supplied

Teens 'prevented a terrible tragedy'

Despite the trio being shy about their heroic rescue, their surfing instructors Mr Morgan and John Elliot said they believe the students “prevented a terrible tragedy as the woman they rescued was swimming alone in a dangerous location and was a very poor swimmer”.

“The boys remained calm, used their skills and knowledge, and demonstrated the kind of selfless behaviour typical of so many of our students,” they wrote in a Facebook post congratulating the teenagers for making their high school proud.

Rough surf at Woolgoolga Back Beach.
The conditions were rough that day, and the woman was a 'poor swimmer', according to the boys' teacher. Source: Supplied

Mr Morgan, who spoke with the woman afterwards, told Yahoo it was very fortunate that Finn had seen her as she was “going nowhere and was a really poor swimmer”.

Principal Lu Nickell said it was “fantastic” that the students had used the skills they had learnt in their class to “look out for people”.

“They saw someone who was in trouble and they just wanted to help her but they also switched on their brains and did it in a smart way,” she said.

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