JAYKE Menefy says he was simply doing what had to be done when he rescued a 100kg man who was struggling to swim in the surf.
The 13-year-old nipper, who was 12 at the time, was returning from a day of surfing with his family in April when they saw the commotion at Teewah Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Jayke grabbed his mum's surfboard and swam about 75m to rescue the stranger.
"I went out and got him on my board and just kept him afloat," he said. "It was completely out of the blue. He was getting, like, sucked out and that's when I got to him."
The Gold Coast high school student pulled the man on to the board and helped get him back to the beach with help from other swimmers.
Jayke was recognised for his selfless act earlier this year when he was awarded Surf Life Saving's rescue of the month - and now he has been nominated for the 2017 Pride of Australia medal.
"I just did what had to be done," he said.
Jayke's mum Nicole said she and her husband, Daniel, were very proud of their son and the response to his story was overwhelming.
"We knew that he was capable of doing it obviously because of his skills [that he had learned as a nipper] and we're just happy to be able to help someone in need," she said.
"A lot of hard work's gone into it as well - a lot of training and surf awareness."
Jayke trains about five times a week and is involved in competitions.
Ms Menefy said they had tried to ensure Jayke and his 12-year-old sister Charlize, were competent in the water from a young age.
Nominations for the 2017 Pride of Australia Medal open today.
We are looking for eight of the very best unsung community leaders in Queensland.
There will be no categories this year, we are simply looking for people who have helped their community or helped others through their selfless actions.
This could be someone who has helped save the life of others through an act of bravery, someone who has overcome personal adversity, members of the emergency services who have gone beyond the call of duty or someone whose selfless and tireless actions have enriched the lives of those around them.
Nominations will close at midnight on November 19.
Visit prideofaustralia.com.au to submit your nomination
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