March 2005

The Kindness Of Strangers Buoys A Teenage Hero

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Sunshine Coast Daily , March 12, 2005

The Kindness Of Strangers Buoys A Teenage Hero

News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, page 43, March 12, 2005
By Belinda Warren

It took what Nathan Martin regards as the lowest of acts to make the 17-year-old hero know just how good people are.

Nathan had thought that seeing his mate Brendan Woolley seriously injure his back in the surf was terrible enough. But after pulling Brendan to shore and getting him safely transported off the beach to hospital, Nathan was distraught to find his $400 bodyboard and fins missing.

Whoever took them had also stolen a teenager’s trust in other people to do the right thing.

But as soon as Brendan and Nathan’s plight appeared in the Sunshine Coast Daily, the offers of help started to flood in.

“Some people said they couldn’t afford much, but they offered to put $50 towards a new board and fins,” his mother Lisa said.

“We weren’t expecting anything like that – we just thought we might get the gear back.”

Australia Zoo staff read the story last week and phoned local surf store Beach Beat to organise replacements.

Zoo marketing manager Peter Lang said staff had found Nathan’s loss under such circumstances “disgusting”.

“Nathan had done something that deserved to be rewarded,” Mr Lang said.

Lisa said there were a number of offers to replace the gear, which was overwhelming.

“It’s fantastic,” said Nathan. “It makes a massive difference to know there are so many good people out there.”

Brendan is out of hospital, but must wear a brace for at least the next three weeks.

In a twist, they were told after Nathan had been given his new gear, that his board and fins had been found. It was decided he should keep the new gear as a reward, while his old board and fins will go to the children of the man who found them.