A WOMAN who thought she was going to die in a rip has hugged and thanked her rescuers.
Bree Meade was reunited with Senior Constable Lisa McRae and Senior Constable Kim Wheeler at the Flume yesterday.
The off-duty policewomen, who are good friends, were part of a dramatic rescue with Ms Meade and her friend Jesse Curran on Saturday.
Nat Anson, son of Warrnambool City Council CEO Bruce Anson, has also been praised for his efforts in the rescue.
Mr Anson was able to get one of the women on his surfboard which he then lined up with a wave.
He then pushed the woman on the board and he jumped off, letting the wave carry her to the shore.
Yesterday Ms Meade gave the policewomen flowers and said she didn’t know how to thank them.
“They’re life savers,” she said. “It’s amazing. I didn’t think I’d see them again.
“I really wanted to come and meet you.”
“I think I said to them when they were out there, ‘why are you out here, you’re going to get killed’.
“It was a weird experience. I didn’t think that would happen to me. We’re still both a bit shaken.”
Senior Constable Wheeler and Senior Constable McRae said it was good to see Ms Meade and make sure she was OK.
“We never really get the follow up,” Senior Constable Wheeler said.
“We go to a lot of incidents, so it’s nice to touch base and see that she is all right.”
Senior Constable Wheeler said Mr Anson, a female surfer and a man on a boogie board all helped with the rescue.
“The girls are just lucky that there were a number of people on the beach that were able to help,” she said.
“The guy that got out to the girls first, with the small boogie board, did a fantastic job.
“He was getting one of the girls on to his board when we got there.
“We just did what anyone else would have done but I can tell you now, when I have kids they are definitely going to nippers.”
Senior Constable McRae and Senior Constable 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.”
Senior Constable McRae said a bodyboarder 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 held her hand and tried to keep her up. She was panicking and crying.
“A female surfer then came out to help and she too was getting smashed by the waves and Mr Anson came out on a bigger board and he was able to take the woman back to shore.”