JAMES SAVES THE DAY

Noosa life­guard James Cervi comes to the res­cue in jet ski drama

Noosa Life and Style - - FRONT PAGE -

Off-duty life­guard comes to Stevi’s res­cue,

WHEN you are flail­ing in cy­clonic seas and sec­onds away from be­ing smashed on jagged rocks, it’s not David Has­sel­hoff you need – it’s this most hum­ble of life­guards. James Cervi was off duty and en­joy­ing the waves at Tea Tree Bay at Noosa ear­lier this year when a mis­sion called that only he had the con­fi­dence and skills to ac­com­plish. Stevi Ever­son had been on a jet ski with her fa­ther Char­lie while film­ing her surfer brother Cal­lum, 19, when they were hit by a freak wave. Char­lie made it to shore but Ms Ever­son, 24, was en­gulfed by the pow­er­ful con­di­tions gen­er­ated by the dan­ger­ous pass­ing Cy­clone Gita. James, a Sun­shine Coast life­guard, was aboard a nearby jet ski with a friend. He quickly as­sessed the un­fold­ing cri­sis, called the Coast Guard from a ra­dio on the ski and plunged into the tur­bu­lent wa­ter to aid the stricken swim­mer. James, 26, kept the two of them afloat for 20 min­utes, draw­ing on his surf knowl­edge to find and ne­go­ti­ate a safe exit point among the rocks. He has been nom­i­nated for a Pride of Aus­tralia award, an an­nual award cre­ated by News Corp recog­nis­ing ev­ery­day he­roes in the com­mu­nity. But he in­sists he was just do­ing his job – even though he was on a day off. “No one else was jump­ing in and I knew I had to … and that if I didn’t, there could be ter­ri­ble con­se­quences,” he said. Stevi says she had com­plete faith in her res­cuer and owes her life to his quick-think­ing ac­tions. “I was con­fi­dent we could get through it – and we did. “With­out James’ help, I likely would have died,” Stevi said.

PHOTO: LACHIE MIL­LARD

Stevi Ever­son, 24, with her hero, James Cervi, 26, who she says “def­i­nitely saved (her) life” as she came off her dad’s jet ski in mas­sive swells at Noosa's outer points in Sep­tem­ber. Off-duty Noosa life­guard James swam to her aid, kept her afloat for more than 20 min­utes, while 2m waves re­lent­lessly crashed on top of them, and swam her to a pro­tected area where she was treated by paramedics and taken to hos­pi­tal.

The re­mains of the jet ski Stevi Ever­son was rid­ing be­fore she went over and was saved by James Cervi in mas­sive swells at Noosa's outer points.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

Life­guard James Cervi.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.