Published on 05 July 2024

Moana rescue wins brothers surf lifesaving award

A double rescue at Moana has won two brothers a top award at the 2024 Surf Living Saving SA Excellence Awards.

Tom and Michael Knauer from Moana Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) were recognised for Rescue of the Year at the awards.

The brothers were in the Moana clubhouse gym on the evening of 20 February when a member of the public rushed in saying there was a swimmer in distress.

Tom and Michael  grabbed their rescue boards and raced to the water, paddling over the waves to the distressed swimmer, 350 metres from the shore.

As they got closer, they realised it was not one person but two people – a mother and daughter – battling to keep their heads above the choppy water.

Tom and Michael retrieved the swimmers on their boards and paddled against a headwind to reach the shore where paramedics and police were already waiting.

According to Michael, another minute or so and the mother would have gone under.

It was Tom and Michael’s first rescue in 20 years of patrolling.

The brothers were joined on the Excellence Awards podium by two other local surf lifesavers – Maguire Reid and Darcy Lines

Maguire Reid from Port Noarlunga SLSC took out the award for Athlete of the Year.

During the 2023-24 season, the 19-year-old accrued nine gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze across individual and team-based ski, board, ironman and Taplin events at the Senior State Championships in the open and under-19 categories. It was his fourth consecutive triumph in the open ironman event. 

Maguire also claimed consecutive gold medals in the under-19 male ski and double ski races at the Australian Open Surf Life Saving Championships in Queensland, as well as a silver and a bronze medal.

Also from the Port Noarlunga SLSC, Darcy Lines won the Official of the Year award for years dedicated to surf lifesaving in roles such as area official, competitor liaison, deputy referee and scrutineer.

Darcy attended virtually every carnival and championship in the 2023-24 season, including juniors, seniors, surf rescue, pool rescue, inflatable rescue boat, pool rescue championships and SA surf league.

As well as being a mentor to young surf lifesavers and running development sessions, Darcy has recently been appointed president of the Noarlunga SLSC.

Eleven local surf lifesaving members were finalists in the awards:

  • Daniel Scadden from Aldinga Bay SLSC for Surf Life Saver of the Year
  • Paul Rothwell from Christies Beach SLSC for Volunteer of the Year
  • Grace Ellis from Aldinga Bay SLSC and Morgan Phillpotts-Jones from Christies Beach SLSC for Young Member of the Year
  • Siobhan Jackson from Christies Beach SLSC and Peter Kerrison from Moana SLSC for Assessor of the Year
  • Cooper Bristow from Christies Beach SLSC for Athlete of the Year
  • Sam West and Tina Hards from Christies Beach SLSC for Surf Sport Team of the Year
  • Gary Abed from Aldinga Bay SLSC and Paul Rothwell from Christies Beach SLSC for Official of the Year.

Aldinga Bay SLSC was a finalist in the Club of the Year category.


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