Off-duty officer praised for bravery – Port Stephens

An off-duty police officer and a local man are being praised for their bravery after rescuing three people, including two children, who were washed off rocks at Port Stephens yesterday.

About 2.40pm (Saturday 20 July 2019), emergency services were called to Boat Harbour after reports that three people, who had been swimming in rock pools, were washed into the ocean.

Due to high swell and windy conditions an eight-year-old boy, 15-year-old girl and 44-year-old woman – were carried south.

Onlookers alerted a local man, Mr Michael Pascoe, of Boat Harbour, in a small aluminium vessel, who went to their aid.

An off-duty police officer Sergeant Andrew Parker, from the Marine Area Command, entered the water with a rescue board and pulled the three swimmers to the boat.

Officers from Nelson Bay Police Station, Water Police, Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter and Surf Life Saving NSW all attended the scene.

The two children and their mother were pulled from the water with no major injuries; the girl is being checked for a suspected sprained ankle.

“The heroic efforts of Sergeant Parker and Mr Pascoe in rescuing these three people in dangerous surf conditions should be commended,” said Acting Inspector Christine McDonald.

“If not for the quick-thinking and courageous response from these men, the outcome could have been tragic for these three swimmers.”

/Public Release. View in full here.