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Surf Life Saving Queensland volunteer surf lifesavers save over 700 lives during latest patrol season

Surf Life Saving Queensland volunteer surf lifesavers save over 700 lives during latest patrol season
May 14, 2020

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) 2019/20 patrol season ended on 4th May with volunteer surf lifesavers, from Forrest Beach to Rainbow Bay, having performed more than 700 rescues, 71,723 preventative actions to proactively safeguard swimmers; and 2,395 first aid treatments..

Since the September 2019 school holidays and start of May 2020, more than 320,000 hours had been dedicated by volunteers to protecting the lives of beachgoers.

SLSQ Chief Executive Dave Whimpey advised “we could not be prouder of our surf lifesaving volunteers. Their efforts over the past eight months have to be commended, especially in light of some difficult circumstances.

“Our members have continued to man their post throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and remained committed to our vision of zero preventable drowning deaths in Queensland public waters.

“The work of our lifesavers has been nothing short of remarkable, especially when you consider the number of lives saved this season.”

Over the past season, SLSQ delivered several initiatives across the state in a bid to offer even greater protection to beachgoers, including the Summer Surf Safety campaign.

Whimpey noted the successful campaign was rolled out over summer, following a spike in drownings last season. The campaign highlighted the fact that most drownings are preventable.

“The campaign aimed to reduce beach-related drowning deaths amongst males over 50 years old, while also increasing general beach safety and awareness.

“The shocking images of a man in difficulty in the water calling for help as lifesavers rushed to his aid formed the basis of the campaign.

“The overall aim of the confronting imagery was to remind beachgoers that by swimming between the flags, you not only protect yourself, but you also prevent a loved one’s potential grief.”

In addition to the Summer Surf Safety Campaign, SLSQ’s Community Awareness team assisted in implementing an International Student Water Skills Assessment across that state.

This assessment was introduced to prevent drowning deaths among international students by ensuring homestay students were able to demonstrate basic water safety competencies prior to undertaking any aquatic activities while in Australia.

Throughout the season Surf Crew Cars operated on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, delivering free educational clinics and educating more than 44,000 beachgoers on how to stay safe.

Whimpey urged beachgoers to take care during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to put their safety first.

Images courtesy of Surf Life Saving Queensland 

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