A MEMBER of the Taree-Old Bar Surf Life Saving Club on the NSW Lower North Coast has sadly passed away on Friday after getting into difficulty during an early morning swim.
Terry Clare was in his late-70s and enjoyed swimming in the ocean most mornings with a group of other swimmers. Local surfers noticed him in trouble in the water and managed to bring him ashore.
Callout volunteers from the club responded quickly, including one young member who is studying nursing. CPR attempts were commenced however unfortunately were unsuccessful.
Terry was a member of Long Reef SLSC in Sydney in the late 50s and early 60s and retired to Old Bar several years ago.
President of Long Reef SLSC, Doug Lucas, caught up with Terry in January when he took a group of around 20 Long Reef cadet lifesavers to Old Bar to help patrol over the peak summer period.
"I'd been for an early morning ski paddle and he was coming out of the water after his usual swim. He was very excited about seeing the large group of Long Reef cadets who'd come to Old Bar to help out," Lucas said.
"Terry told me he joined Longy in 1958 and was a member for about eight seasons, patrolling and rowing surf boats. He had a real love for the ocean and surf and said being a member of Long Reef gave him a great grounding for later life. He spoke very highly of the work that Surf Life Saving does today and the fantastic people he met in the club and the comrades he had."
Taree-Old Bar duty officer Allan Davis, praised the efforts of the local surfers and the young club members who were involved in the rescue and resuscitation effort.
"Our young volunteers responded quickly and did all they could. It's just a shame the outcome wasn't better," said Davis. "The thoughts of all club members are with Terry's family and friends."
Club members who were involved have been offered counselling through the Surf Life Saving NSW Critical Incident Debrief service.