A 17-year-old lifeguard saves a kangaroo from rough surf in the first-ever rescue in the Australian sea.
Surf lifesaving is a difficult task even in the best of circumstances, but it becomes significantly more challenging when an animal needs to be rescued.
That was the situation that 17-year-old Lillian Bee Young found herself in when she set out on her first expedition to save a kangaroo that had leaped into choppy water at Iluka near Yamba on the north coast of New South Wales.
“We were discussing what to do when Carissa, my other coworker, called out, “Oh my God, there’s a kangaroo jumping down the rocks!” as we were sitting on the tractor. Since it has never happened before,” Lillian said.
The incident happened on New Year’s Eve in the late afternoon at a beach inside Bundjalung National Park. Unexpected bystanders observed what they thought was an eastern grey kangaroo jump over a rock platform and plunge into the water.
“There are a lot of kangaroos here,” according to Lillian.
“I think it just leaped out of the bushes and there were fisherman on the rocks, so it kind of wanted to go back and steer clear of them and then it just was wiped off by a set,” the observer speculates.
It was simply drifting away, and was afraid to enter the area where the beach was.
Outside the shed of the surf-lifesaving club in Iluka, NSW, a young girl wearing a yellow and red lifeguard costume. Lillian said she made a split-second decision to grab the rescue board and head out to help the kangaroo, which was managing to keep its head above water but was having difficulty returning to land.
“I was attempting to determine how, if necessary, to get it on the board. but it’s also a wild animal… I wouldn’t want anything to damage me or make me more stressed, even though you’re helping,” she added.
The story of a teen lifeguard saving a kangaroo in her first-ever rescue is amazing.
Many beachgoers gathered on the coast after seeing the kangaroo leap into the water, and Lillian claimed that her coworker instructed everyone to leave so that the kangaroo could find its feet once more.
The animal can repeatedly be seen attempting to jump out of the waters but failing due to the surf in videos captured by bystanders.
“It was a windy, choppy day,” according to Lillian. “I paddled behind it and helped lead it toward the shore.”
There were grins all around when the kangaroo eventually reached the shore and jumped up the sand.
“It was extremely unique. People could be heard clapping and cheering. And after that, [the kangaroo] was merely sitting there in the woods, almost as a thank you, I imagined.” Lillian remarked, “It was really calm.”
Aspiring professional surfer Lillian is in her final year of high school this year.
“I never imagined that would be my first rescue. A kangaroo at my neighborhood park, but it’s fairly unique!”