Teenage hero saves friend's life after deadly tide hits

BOEDENE Bellamy was seconds away from death, trapped in a deadly current that flung her at the bottom of Torquay Jetty like a rag doll.

In that moment, everything could have changed if it was not for her friend Holli Spence's brave act.

Boedene, 17, Holli, 17 and Holli's sister Casey, 14, were at the beach on Thursday afternoon when the innocent day took an unexpected turn.


Boedene Bellamy who was caught in a rip under the Torquay Jetty and rescued by friend Holli Spence.
Boedene Bellamy who was caught in a rip under the Torquay Jetty and rescued by friend Holli Spence. Alistair Brightman


"We were swimming for maybe half an hour, when a giant rip came in," recalls Holli.

"I went over it but Boedene got sucked into it."


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The rip took Boedene at an angle, bashing her against a pole of the Torquay Jetty before proceeding to pass her to other poles.

"When she was getting sucked out, she said in the saddest voice, 'Holli help'; that could have been the last time I heard from her," Holli said.

"Adrenalin kicked it and I swam out to her.

"She was floating when grabbed her.

She would have drowned, I think, in the next three seconds if I wasn't there.  

"I wouldn't have found her in the waves if she had gone under."

Intensely hitting the jetty poles had an immediate impact on Boedene's visual health.

"When we pulled her up, she couldn't move - only her eyes moved," Holli said.

"She was non responsive and she just lay there, we thought she was brain dead or paralysed."

Casey called an ambulance and Boedene was transported to hospital.

"I don't actually remember any of it," Boedene said.

"Doctors think it was due to the shock.

"They said I went unconscious for some of it, but they don't know for how long.

"I just remember waking up in hospital."

She is forever grateful to Holli for jumping in to save her.

"Holli really saved my life," she said.

I would not be here if it wasn't for her.

"This is the type of thing that you expect to happen to other people."

Fortunately, Boedene didn't suffer any long-term health effects and isn't paralysed as initially feared.

After plenty of rest, Boedene is walking around and is about to graduate from high school.

Though Boedene doesn't remember the terrifying ordeal, Holli does.

"It has been playing on my mind and repeating itself," she said.

With Hervey Bay being known for its calm beaches, the two said they would never have expected this to happen even with the waves being visibly higher on that day than usual.

Holli and Boedene have been friends for nine years and out of the many adventures they have had, this was their wildest.

Also helping in Boedene's rescue was Boedene's friend Oshjae Marcellas, who just happened to be there at the time, and two boys.

Topics:  fcoffbeat fraser coast hero near death experience

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