Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Bondi Rescue educates the world about beach safety

Bondi Rescue educates the world about beach safety
January 6, 2017

Australian reality TV show Bondi Rescue performs a valuable educational role in teaching people around the world about the dangers of rip currents and the importance of swimming between the flags, a global survey of viewers by UNSW scientists indicates.

The popular series follows Waverley Council lifeguards at Bondi Beach in Sydney as they perform about surf rescues and deal with other problems including shark scares, lost children, bluebottle stings, drunk beach-goers and thieves.

Since it was first broadcast in 2006, the award-winning program has been watched by millions of people worldwide, many of whom are poor swimmers.

UNSW Associate Professor Rob Brander comments “it is difficult to engage large numbers of the general public in any sort of formal beach safety campaign, and awareness of surf hazards remains poor.

"Many beachgoers still choose not to obey key safety messages, such as swim between the flags.

"The filming of Bondi Rescue on a famous Sydney beach provided us with a unique opportunity to find out whether a popular factual TV show could have a beneficial impact on people's behaviour and knowledge about the dangers of surf beaches.”

The survey was carried out by UNSW Science research student Nicky Warton under the supervision of Associate Professor Brander, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, who is a renowned expert on rip currents and beach safety in Australia.

Responses were received from people in 51 countries, with more than 60% of those who filled in the survey living overseas.

Associate Professor Brander adds “many people were also in the at-risk group for drowning in the surf because they said they were poor swimmers or rarely go to the beach.

"This factual TV program may provide the only beach safety education they get. Our results show it is an effective, large-scale educational tool. It has improved knowledge and behaviour and, in terms of its reach, dwarfs programs like signs, brochures and posters about rips and flags.

"However we also recommend it include more frequent dedicated information about beach safety and rip identification."

Warton also analysed the content of seasons one to eight of Bondi Rescue, and found the majority of rip rescues occurred on fine, sunny days with small waves, stating “males were rescued almost twice as often as females and more tourists - mostly from Asia and Europe - were rescued than Australians.”

The UNSW survey's key findings:

• 37% of respondents came from Australia, with 35% from UK and Ireland, 14% from Europe and 10% from North America.
• 43% said they did not know, or were not sure, what a rip current was before watching the show, but 94% knew what they are after viewing the program
• When shown a picture of a beach, 93% chose the area between the flags as the safest place to swim
• More than 80% of viewers think Bondi Rescue significantly improved their knowledge and awareness of beach safety
• 17% felt they had used skills or techniques learnt from the show to assist people in real life emergency situations, mainly by giving advice or using a flotation device

The survey was conducted online via the Bondi Rescue Facebook page with 1852 contributing.

In 2015/2016, 130 coastal drownings occurred and more than 13000 rescues were performed on Australian beaches, according to Surf Life Saving Australia.

Rip currents are responsible for 19 deaths on average each year and about 90% of the beach rescues made by lifeguards.

Images: Bondi Rescue lifeguards (top - image courtesy of Channel 10) and dye used to show a rip at Bondi Beach (below).

13th February 2016 - CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS BONDI RESCUE LIFEGUARDS 

27th December 2015 - PROFESSIONAL LIFEGUARDS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR SAFETY FIRST AT THE BEACH

23rd February 2015 - RECREATIONAL SURFERS UNDERTAKE AS MANY RESCUES AS VOLUNTEER SURF LIFESAVERS 

30th November 2014 - PROFESSIONAL LIFEGUARDS ADVOCATE SAFETY FIRST AT AUSTRALIAN BEACHES

28th November 2013 - OCEAN RIPS KILL MORE THAN BUSHFIRES, CYCLONES, FLOODS OR SHARK ATTACKS 

11th October 2010 - SURF DROWNINGS INCREASE DUE TO CHANGING AUSTRALIA


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

SUNBATHER

Solar Pool Heating & Swimming Pool Covers since 1974. Sunbather offer an Australian made product which undergoes continual development to enable you to trust in the Sunbather brand. We deliver a…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Led by Directors Mike King, Kate Maddock, David Mason and Martin Lambert, each of whom are recognised for their industry experience and achievements, OPG brings together a network of more than 15…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

MYRTHA POOLS

Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness

 
 

INTELLIGENZ SOLUTIONS

Intelligenz solutions provide integrated software for Wellness, Spa, Fitness, Leisure Centres, Recreation Activities, Resort and Restaurant Management.

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

Also at 3 Squill Place, Arndell Park NSW 2148 ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

HIDROPLAY

Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business