Lillian Bee Young, 17, had just begun her new job as a lifeguard on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve when a kangaroo jumped into rough waters at Iluka, a village in Australia in north-eastern New South Wales.
“My other workmate, Carissa and I, we were sitting on the tractor and she goes, ‘Oh my God, there’s a kangaroo jumping off the rocks!’ and we were just figuring out what we should do … because we’ve never had that happen before,” Lillian told ABC Australia.
Onlookers witnessed the incident, when an eastern grey kangaroo hopped over a rock platform and fell into the ocean. A video taken by a beach-goer captures the entire incident.
“We get quite a few kangaroos around,” Lillian said. “I guess it just hopped out of the bushes and there were fishermen on the rocks … so it sort of wanted to jump back and steer clear of them and then just got wiped out by a set. It was just drifting out and didn’t want to come in [to the beach] because it was sort of scared.”
Lillian quickly decided to grab her rescue board and swim out to rescue the kangaroo, which was able to keep its head above water but was struggling to get back to shore.
“I was trying to figure out how, if I needed to, get it on the board … but also it’s a wild animal … even though you’re helping I wouldn’t want it to hurt me or make it more stressed out,” said Lillian.
“It was quite a windy day, very choppy,” she said. “I paddled behind it and sort of guided it into the beach.”
When the pair finally made it to shore and the kangaroo hopped up the sand, there were smiles all around.
Lillian is finishing her final year of school and is an aspiring professional surfer. “I didn’t think that was gonna ever be my first rescue … a kangaroo at my local, but it’s pretty special!” she said.
Image source: ABC Australia
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