AT THE SCENE: Rebecca Leong and Dan Metelmann at Petrel Cove where a family were saved.
ENCOUNTER BAY –A photography session on Sunday, January 24 with three friends at Petrel Coveturned into an act of bravery for Adelaide man Dan Metelmann.
DISTRESS: Paramedics and police at Petrel Cove on Sunday, January 24. Photo: Gary Juleff, Fleurieu Multimedia.
At Petrel Covewith partner Rebecca Leong, Dan heard screams beyond the rocks at the notorious beach.
“I could see people in distress on the rocks and in the water,” Dan said. “I immediately ran in at waist deep water and climbed over the rocks to see a girl in trouble.
UNFORGIVING: Petrel Cove where two people drowned in 2014 and a family was saved on January 24, 2016.
“With other members of the public and with waves crashing against the jagged rocks we carried her to shore. I ran back into the water, over the rocks and into a rock pool where an elderly gentleman was in serious difficulty.
“A man from Victor was thereal hero as put himself between the rocks and the man in trouble and just got pounded by the waves.”
Dan said the elderly gentleman was unconscious and with the help of others carried him over the rocks and to safety.
“He was in a very bad way, unconscious, throwing upand turning blue,” he said.
For a third time Dan ran back into the water, climbed the rocks to find a younger member of the family in a state of distress.“I carried her to shore and for the final time I assisted with the rescue of another member of the family who was unconscious. She was throwing up water, so I put her on her side and she became conscious,” Dan said.
Local residents called the ambulance and Dan’s partner Rebecca was ashore with the distressed family and offering comfort.“We comforted the victims until paramedics arrived by keeping them warm,” Rebecca said.
Dan said the deep sinkholes near the jagged rocks caused most of the problem for the family.
“One minute you were at your waist and the next it was well over your head,” he said.“I do not consider myself a hero, just happy to be there at the right time to help. It is distressing to see a family in such a dire position. Everyone on the beach helped and it was a total team effort,” Dan said.
It was Dan’s first time to Petrel Cove and believes the signs do not emphasise the true dangers of the beach for a visitor.“Need to erect larger signs with more multi-cultural languages, which would clearly warn people of the dangers of swimming at this particular beach. The beach does not need to be closed, but better signs saying people have drowned and life saving patrols would make a difference.”
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