Natalie's back on patrol

Since her own near-drowning experience, Natalie Ward has come to realise the true importance of a lifesaver's role.
Since her own near-drowning experience, Natalie Ward has come to realise the true importance of a lifesaver's role. Contributed

It was almost two years ago that Natalie Ward nearly drowned while out surfing off Marcoola Beach.

The important role that lifesavers play on the beach was bought home to Natalie that Sunday morning, when a surfing accident saw her spend three days in a coma after she almost drowned.

If it had not been for a couple of local surfers, the lifesavers on duty at Marcoola and the AGL rescue helicopter, the outcome could have been very different.

Family, friends and members of the club were relieved to see Natalie recover with no side effects from the incident.

Her renewed enthusiasm for lifesaving has been evident since she was able to return to patrols and her desire to help raise funds for vital equipment led her to take on the role as the club's entrant in this year's Conrad Jupiters Summer Surf Girl.

She will be following in the footsteps of Mitch Allsopp, who was the runner-up in last year's competition.

Natalie has been involved with the Marcoola Surf Life Saving Club for years, having commenced her involvement as a nipper, and regularly patrols the flagged area on a week end.

For Natalie, lifesaving is nothing short of a family affair.

The majority of her family patrol the beach at Marcoola, where her father, Peter, is the patrol captain.

There are a number of events planned for the year with the annual golf day on Friday, November 13 and the Sports Lunch on February 19, 2010, being the main fund raisers.

For more information, visit the Marcoola Surf Life Saving Club website and click on the link to the Summer Surf Girl.

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