A Mollymook Surf Club volunteer has lost the top of two fingers following an accident on the beach after a patrol shift.
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Jet Ski operator Mark Green had the top of his middle and ring fingers on his right hand severed while loading the craft onto a trailer on south Mollymook Beach on Saturday, December 30.
Mr Green was taken to Milton Hospital before being transferred to Sydney Hand Hospital for urgent surgery.
“The ATV [all terrain vehicle] jerked back and cut the tops off two of my fingers. I lost about one centimetre on each,” he said.
“I knew they were gone straight away. I remember it clearly. I went into first aid mode on myself.
“I told myself to keep going and breath and got the radio room to get an ambulance because I knew I needed one. The ambos came, put dressings on and gave me morphine.
“I was in Milton for a few hours before my wife Julie drove me to the hand hospital in Sydney.
“In Sydney, they cut the bone back, cleaned out bone fragments and wrapped the skin back up. I was back home on Sunday night at about 6pm.”
I knew they were gone straight away. I remember it clearly. I went into first aid mode on myself.- Mark Green
Mr Green, who is a builder, said he was recovering well and hoped to be back on the beach and on the tools as soon as he got doctor’s clearance.
“It could be a lot worse and there are a lot of people in a lot worse circumstances than me,” he said.
“I’ll be back on the beach as soon as I can. I may not be able to do much for a little while, but I will have my eyes and ears on the water.
“I have a great patrol and we have been together for a few years.”
On the day of the accident, Mr Green had been on the water performing numerous rescues and preventions while patrolling between Green Island and Dolphin Point on a jet ski.
“It was a busy day,” he said.
“I spent the day on the water and did rescues up and down the coast. I pulled a guy out of the river mouth at Narrawallee Inlet, got a girl out of a rip on Narrwallee Beach and go a bunch of kids out of the water who were in a rip.
“Then people next to the flags were getting dragged out in the rip so we had a few rescues where we pulled two or three people out at a time.”
I really enjoy being a part of the club, giving back and passing on my years of knowledge about the ocean.- Mark Green
Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club president Rod Austin described Mark as a “champion lifesaver”.
“Mark is qualified in all aspects of lifesaving,” he said.
“He is also a qualified lifeguard, which involves getting the gold medallion, and has been operating skis for three years.”
“Knowing Mark, he will be back on the beach soon.”
Mr Green has been a part of the Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club for close to 10 years and as a Nipper was a member of Noosa Heads surf club.
Surf Life Saving South Coast Branch president Steve Jones said WorkCover had been notified about the incident. Mr Green will be fully covered by WorkCover until be can return to work.
Although he was at home recovering, Mr Green still urged people to swim between the flags and listen to lifesavers’ advice.
“I really enjoy being a part of the club, giving back and passing on my years of knowledge about the ocean,” he said.
“The more people you can stop getting into trouble, and spend your time educating people, showing them where the rips are and talk to them about the tide and swell conditions, the better.
“People really need to swim between the flags and do what we ask. If we approach them on a ski, in an IRB or on a foot patrol, and we give them advice, they just have to listen to us.”
Mr Green said preventing people from swimming in dangerous spots and getting into trouble was the aim of a lifesaver.
“If we have to do a rescue, that is not good. If people are unsure about the conditions or where to swim, speak to the boardriders and ask people on the beach if you are unsure,” he said.
“If you are rock fishing, please wear a personal flotation device and be aware of both the sea and the weather conditions.
“If anyone is caught in a rip, don’t panic because it won’t take you far. Put your hand up and someone will get you. You are better off floating out the back and going with it. Stay calm and tread water.
“If you try and fight against it, you will run out of energy.”
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