A BOND between two mates has been strengthened by a traumatic incident.
Cooper Dowie, 15, brought his schoolmate Raymond Morgan, 14, with him on family holidays from Sydney to stay at Mooloolaba.
Both of them had swum in surf before and were between the red and yellow flags when Cooper was knocked unconscious on Saturday.
Cooper was floating face down when Raymond noticed him.
He initially thought Cooper was mucking around but it wasn't long before he realised he was in a serious situation.
With the help of some nearby swimmers, Cooper was taken to shore and has since recovered.
Raymond said at one stage he thought his friend was going to die.
It was a new situation to him which he is unlikely to forget.
Cooper remembers only some parts.
But he was grateful for Raymond and the nearby swimmers' help.
Incidents such as these add strength to bonds that can only be fully appreciated with time.
Should they remain mates, it will be something they talk about as young adults and possibly into their senior years.
Teenage years seem to have a fair share of close calls.
For some, the worst does occur, with massive effects on those around them.
It is these tragedies that make others appreciate the significance of near misses.
In Cooper and Raymond's case, it was their mateship that ensured Raymond was there when it mattered.
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