Cooks Hill patrol captain has seen it all 

MITCHELL Hermens has spent most of his life throwing it on the line for others.

This year marks his 10th as a lifesaver with Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Club.

As a patrol captain, Hermens carries out a range of rescues, from inexperienced swimmers caught in rips, to more dangerous missions near the cliff at Bar Beach.

Earlier this month, Hermens returned from New Zealand, where he took part in an advanced lifesaving course conducted by Surf Life Saving NSW.

Only two lifesavers in the state were selected; Hermens, and Jordan Smith, from Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club on the Central Coast.

The annual course is for patrol captains aged 18 to 30 and aims to broaden their experience with rescues in extreme surf conditions.

During the four-day course the pair completed challenging tasks, including cliff-top diving and open cave rescues in large swell, where they had to safely retrieve dummies and identify their injuries.

Training took place at Muriwai, United North Piha and Bethells surf lifesaving clubs in Auckland.

Hermens said the skills he learnt on rescues involving cliff faces and blow holes would be helpful at Bar Beach.

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