NRL foes join forces to rescue swimmers
Parramatta powerhouse Reagan Campbell-Gillard was a reluctant hero on Monday following news he and St George Illawarra's Paul Vaughan helped rescue two swimmers in trouble on the weekend.
Campbell-Gillard and Vaughan are fierce rivals on the field but the duo joined forces on Saturday evening at Shellharbour beach when they noticed a mother and son struggling in the surf.
The forward was unwilling to take credit for the rescue when asked about it by The Daily Telegraph on Monday afternoon.
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"We were in the right place at the right time to help out a young kid and his mum," Campbell-Gillard said
"We had just gone for a swim, it was around 6 o'clock. The lifeguards were still on guarding the beach but we happened to be there.
"It wasn't like we had to run in and swim 300 metres to get them. We were there and we swam over and helped them back in and that was it."
Campbell-Gillard joked his best mate Dragons forward Vaughan was likely to be less modest about the incident
"If you ask Vaughan he'd probably say there was a shark and we fought off a shark," Campbell-Gillard said with a laugh.
Onlookers heaped praise on the rescuers for their bravery.
"Just like to thank these two great footie mates for assisting our Patrol to rescue a mother and son who got into trouble in the rip to the north of the flags late yesterday afternoon," Peter Gavin wrote on Shellharbour Surf Life Saving Club's Facebook page.
"Paul Vaughan and Reagan Campbell-Gillard were first to reach the struggling mother and son who had signalled for assistance."
Campbell-Gillard's love for the water started as a seven year old when he joined St Mary's ripples swim squad.
But these days Campbell-Gillard prefers the salt water to chasing the black line on the bottom of a swimming pool
"I used to be a swimmer, breaststroke was my event. I used to swim squad, I pretty much did it for fitness. I started when I was in under 8's for a few years and then I stopped. I just kept getting bigger and bigger so there was no point in me trying to swim," he said.
Originally published as NRL foes join forces to rescue swimmers