JAMES SAVES THE DAY
Noosa lifeguard James Cervi comes to the rescue in jet ski drama
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.
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.
Lifeguard James Cervi.