Bendigo born Josh Stephens – along with his fellow Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club members – won a bronze medal at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide.
After moving to NSW around seven years ago, Stephens traded his love of racing around the Bendigo kart track for a life on the ocean.
First introduced to surf life saving by his girlfriend Alix Smith, he has not looked back since.
“I really enjoy being out on the beach patrolling with a great group of people throughout summer, it’s such a great environment,” Stephens said.
Stephens now lives in Terrigal, NSW and despite his local surf “having quite timid conditions” he thoroughly understands the importance of his role in protecting the safety of all beach users.
“It’s good to be there when people need our help, the beach can always be a dangerous place when there aren’t many people around,” Stephens said.
Stephens along with Smith paired up with fellow Terrigal SLS Club members Georgia Moy and Charlie Phillips to compete at the lifesaving championships.
The squad were among a field or around 700 competitors from countries such as England, Peru, New Zealand, Italy and the Netherlands.
Competition events were simulations of real world scenarios where participants were required to perform ocean rescues.
The Terrigal SLS Club won a bronze medal in the IRB Mass Rescue, the first time the club has ever won a medal at the world championships.
“In the mass rescue we were required to go out on the water and retrieve one patient before coming back onto the beach,” Stephens said.
“We then needed to stop the boat’s motor, do a short run on the beach before hopping back in the water and completing another rescue.”
The teams were judged on their time but also the techniques used when retrieving patients from the water.
“When you go out and pick someone up out of the water who is distressed or unconscious there is a certain method we must use to retrieve them,” Stephens said.
“What we do on the course simulates what we would do out in the surf.”
After success in Adelaide the team will now start preparing for the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships in 2019 and long-term they aim to compete at the 2020 world championships in Italy.
Stephens has become settled in his new life at the beach, recently purchasing a house with partner Smith.
Their new house is located in close proximity to the ocean, so the couple can continue to pursue their passion of surf life saving for many more years to come.
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