Strangers help Kingsley grandfather at Mullaloo Beach

As fate would have it: Tony Chippendale (76) and Michael O'Malley (12) just before his accident in the surf at Mullaloo.
As fate would have it: Tony Chippendale (76) and Michael O'Malley (12) just before his accident in the surf at Mullaloo.

THIRTY minutes after this photo was taken, Tony Chippendale (76) was being taken to hospital in an ambulance.

The Kingsley man was bodysurfing at Mullaloo Beach with his grandson Michael O’Malley (12) on Sunday when he was dumped by a wave.

“He was concussed and very disorientated,” daughter Justine Chippendale O’Malley said.

“But within seconds of Michael calmly getting him on to the beach, a lovely off-duty doctor came to our assistance.

“She did a range of tests and due to neck pain and tingling in his arm, she recommended an ambulance.”

Justine said two “wonderful ambulance officers” soon arrived and put Mr Chippendale in a neck brace.

Mr Chippendale in a neck brace at home.

“They decided he needed to be carried to the ambulance, which was in the carpark,” she said.

“By this time there was a group of people assisting; from helping the ambulance officers lift dad on to the board to holding towels to create shade, to making sure everyone had water to drink.

“We didn’t have to ask anyone for help, they all came willingly and gave up their time on the beach to assist and the off-duty doctor stayed and provided support and assistance.”

She said it took “at least six strong men” to help the ambulance officers carry Mr Chippendale to the carpark, with others helping to carry the equipment.

“When we got there, people also took mine and Michael’s beach stuff to our car including the surfboard so I could fill in details on the medical forms,” she said.

Mr Chippendale on the mend at Joondalup Health Campus.

Justine has since shared her family’s story as a way to thank all those involved.

“There are often stories in the media where people have needed help and they are ignored as people don’t want to get involved,” she said.

“We wanted to share this story to show the true Aussie spirit of helping others.

“We didn’t need to ask people to help, they just came and gave up their time to help out someone they have never met.

“We would like to say a big thank you to the doctor who was meant to be relaxing before her shift started in two hours, the ambulance officers and all the people who assisted in carrying my dad up the beach.

“A big thanks from all of us.”

Justine acknowledged the critical role her son played.

“I had actually walked down the beach and if it wasn’t for Michael pulling dad up out of the water, the outcome might have been different as he couldn’t stand up,” she said.

Mr Chippendale spent two days at Joondalup Health Campus.

He is now home in a neck brace for the next couple of weeks.