Rainbow Beach lifeguard the best
RAINBOW Beach Lifeguard Lleam Rees was back at work yesterday, patrolling a cold, grey Rainbow Beach.
But he didn’t mind. He was still buzzing after winning the Australian Lifeguard of the Year award on Saturday night.
Mr Rees was one of five finalists from around the nation who were selected for their commitment to saving lives on Australian beaches.
Mr Rees, along with mother Barbara and sister Nicole, attended the gala function at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
“It still hasn’t hit home yet,” a shocked Mr Rees said yesterday.
He said he and his four other fellow nominees were called up on stage for the announcement.
“When they called out my name my first thought was that they were joking.
“I was completely shocked.
“My mum and sister were rapt. There were even a few tears,” he said.
The award comes on top of Mr Rees winning the state award two months ago.
Back then, Mr Rees’ boss, Greg Cahill from Surf Lifesaving Queensland, said the lifeguard was nominated for the award for his community approach and his willingness to help out whenever he was needed.
He said Mr Rees was always available to the community, not just while the flags were up.
“Everyone in the community knows Lleam is available to assist if something happens outside beach operating hours.”
He said in one instance with a drowning at Inskip Point, locals rang Mr Rees on his mobile and he came to help.
“Lleam has been employed for about five years and he has made a valuable contribution to the lifeguard service in Rainbow,” Mr Cahill said.
Mr Rees said yesterday it was great to be back patrolling the beach at Rainbow.
After just having three weeks’ holiday, he said it was where he felt at home.