Strangers save drowning woman
A BRISBANE woman whose sister-in-law almost drowned at Teewah Beach last week has paid tribute to the "complete strangers" who helped save her life.
The woman was unconscious when she was pulled from the water after a family swim almost ended in tragedy last Friday.
She had gone to the rescue of her six-year-old nephew after he became caught in a rip, but soon got into difficulty herself.
"She kept him above water until her husband, my brother, got to them but by that stage she was exhausted. She had nothing left," her sister-in-law Tamara Webb said.
"My brother had the heartbreaking situation of having to leave her there while he took my son back to shore.
"He called his friend to come in and help her but he struggled in the conditions to keep her head afloat and my brother had to return to get her."
By the time they got the unconscious woman to shore, both men were exhausted and collapsed on the sand. Tamara said that was when complete strangers stepped in to help.
"My sister-in-law was unconscious but breathing - just.
"The help and support that came in the moments after the drama unfolded was unbelievable.
"Off-duty lifesavers, doctors, nurses and residents came to help and call in further medical help as well as reassure the four young children and shield them from the drama.
"Two off-duty paramedics, who happened to be driving by at the time, stopped and gave further potentially life-saving assistance.
"An ambulance crew also arrived swiftly, as did a jet-ski lifeguard from Noosa. It was incredible."
While Tamara's son recovered quickly, his aunt regained consciousness on the beach and was taken to Noosa hospital, where she remained until yesterday.
Tamara said it was impossible to convey just how grateful the family was for the help they received.
"We are forever grateful."