TWO off-duty policewomen have been hailed heroes after they helped save the lives of two young women from a dangerous rip at the Flume.
Yesterday The Standard reported how Warrnambool friends Bree Paige and Jesse Curran were both dragged out to sea and thought they were going to die.
Today the pair will meet two of the women who came to their aid and played a major role in their rescue.
Good friends Senior Constable Lisa McRae and Senior Constable Kim Wheeler were at the beach on Saturday when a woman ran up to them screaming and pointing to the two women in the rip.
“The two girls were screaming with their arms in the air,” Senior Constable McRae said.
“One started to lose their strength and go under. They were screaming and crying.”
Senior Constable McRae said a body boarder swam out to them and Senior Constable Wheeler helped the woman on to the board.
Senior Constable McRae then reached the second woman and told her to get on her back, face the surf and kick.
“I was trying to hold her up and she kept saying ‘don’t let me die’,” she said.
“I kept reassuring her.
“I held her hand and tried to keep her up. She was panicking and crying. I knew that panicking was one of the main causes of drowning and I just kept telling her to calm down. I said I would always be there. I knew I had to reassure her.”
A female surfer then came out to help and she too was getting smashed by the waves.
“A male surfer came out on a bigger board and he was able to take the girl,” Senior Constable McRae said.
“I was still in the rip and I was exhausted. The female surfer then brought me back.”
Before joining the police force Senior Constable McRae, originally from Warrnambool but now based in Melbourne, was a professional lifeguard for three years.
On Saturday she was teaching Senior Constable Wheeler, who is based in Warrnambool, how to surf. The pair have been friends since they met at the academy.
She said Saturday’s surf was rough and unpredictable.
“It was very intense,” she said. “There was large and unpredictable surf. Lots of rips and undertow currents.
“It was a good thing she had a friend with her. It could have been a horrible tragedy.”
Senior Constable McRae said she was looking forward to meeting the two women to see how they were going and check on their welfare.