For Lillian Bee Young, her New Year started off with a humbly heroic act. The 17-year-old lifeguard was at her post in the small village of Iluka in New South Whales, along with a group of surfers and sunbathers, when a kangaroo suddenly hopped their way towards the surf. Within moments, Young hopped into action and went after the kangaroo.
Australia’s ABC News shared video and reportage of the scene, where a grey kangaroo found themselves next to a fisherman at the rocks. Seemingly out of fear or wariness, the kangaroo ends up jumping right into the choppy waters, which startles those around him. Young explains, “My other workmate, Carissa and I, were sitting on the tractor and she goes, ‘Oh my god, there’s a kangaroo jumping off the rocks!’ …We’ve never had that happen before.”
In the video you can spot Young sprinting for the water with her rescue board in tow, fighting the water and eventually reaching the kangaroo to guide them back to safety. She made sure to keep her distance as she didn’t want to startle the animal, and the kangaroo needed some time to regain their balance and footing, making a few “test jumps” that tumbled them back into the water.
Eventually, they were free and clear, and Young’s coworker made sure that any nearby beachgoers gave the kangaroo some space. Soon it was hopping on dry land again, and this young lifeguard ended up with a memorable story of her first-ever rescue.