Club investigated over accident that left young hero injured
ONE of Queensland's most famous surf clubs is at the centre of a major investigation after a horrifying rescue boat accident that left a hero lifesaver seriously injured.
Maritime Safety Queensland is investigating the circumstances surrounding the January 18 incident, which saw an Inshore Rescue Boat flip in rough seas, flinging four lifesavers in to the water.
Teenager Troy Ottaway, last year's Queensland junior sports volunteer of the year, was knocked unconscious and later taken to hospital in an ambulance with neck and spinal injuries while a clubmate also suffered extensive injuries.
The 14-year-old, who was also named last year's QBank Young Everyday Hero after rescuing more than 20 people in the surf, has undergone months of rehabilitation for his injuries.
His family declined to comment when contacted by The Courier-Mail.
It is understood the beach had been closed earlier in the day due to rough conditions while a surf sports competition was cancelled, but the beach had been reopened before the accident.
The master, or driver, of the boat, has been interviewed by authorities.
A surf life saving insider said officials were anxiously awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
"This was one of the most serious surf incidents we've seen in Queensland for years," said the insider.
Surf Life Saving Queensland is also aware of the investigation.
The accident had eerie similarities to a case last year, where two volunteer lifesavers died when their IRB flipped in rough seas in Victoria.
Surfers Paradise is one of Australia's busiest beaches and home to one of the country's most iconic surf clubs.
Some of the sport's biggest names have represented Surfers over the decades, including surf legend Trevor Hendy, who is the current club president.
Mr Hendy could not be contacted for comment before yesterday's deadline.
Maritime Safety Queensland General Manager Angus Mitchell said the 'complex' matter was ongoing.
"The investigation is complex and a final report has yet to be compiled," he said.
"As the matter is still under investigation it would not be appropriate to comment on the outcome or prospect of any possible enforcement actions."
Maritime Safety Queensland has scope to pursue prosecutions and other enforcement actions under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act.
A spokeswoman for SLSQ confirmed the organisation was aware of the incident and subsequent investigation but 'would be making no further comment'.
Originally published as Club investigated over accident that left young hero injured