Page 1


ISSUE 12 | 2017

Hundreds saved over busy Christmas period Local lifesavers win big at national awards New initiatives to save lives in Queensland



n behalf of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) I would like to welcome you to the latest edition of Beyond Patrol and wish our readers all the best for a happy and safe year ahead.

With 2016 officially coming to a close, it’s only natural to reflect on some of the remarkable developments and success stories that were collectively achieved by our organisation and its members across the past 12 months. It was a year that saw us continue to implement positive programs and aquatic safety initiatives in a bid to increase protection for Queensland beachgoers and, ultimately, move us closer to eliminating drownings in all public waters. In addition to enhancing on-beach patrol services, we also significantly increased our efforts to equip all communities across the state with crucial surf safety skills and awareness through grassroots educational programs. Importantly, through the collective efforts of our volunteer members and staff, SLSQ was able to directly save the lives of more than 2,800 beachgoers in 2016 while proactively preventing countless other incidents through surf education and engagement. Once again, these figures tangibly demonstrate the crucial and ongoing role that our surf lifesavers and lifeguards play along Queensland’s coastline each and every year. As we move forward into the future, SLSQ remains more committed than ever to pursuing innovative and progressive surf safety strategies to improve our reach and help save lives. From the boardroom to the beach, our vision of ‘Zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’ continues to resonate strongly at all levels across the organisation, and achieving this goal will remain our core focus in the years ahead. In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to formally acknowledge two recent and historic milestones for our organisation. In December last year, SLSQ officially celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Surf Communications Centre (SurfCom) and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service. Since their respective inceptions four decades ago, both services have grown into vital cogs of our lifesaving operations. As an organisation, we owe a great deal of gratitude to the founding members of each service, along with the volunteers and staff whose efforts have taken them from strength to strength in the years since.

John Brennan OAM Chief Executive Officer Surf Life Saving Queensland

Surf Life Saving Queensland 18 Manning Street, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101 t. 07 3846 8000 | w. Beyond Patrol staff and contributors: Writers/Editors: Cameron Ward, Saira Manns Designers: Chloe Koklas, Hannah Gynther and Sharni Newbury


Surf Life Saving Queensland

SLSQ shines a spotlight on snorkeller safety

As the state’s peak authority on aquatic safety, SLSQ remains more committed than ever to improving and increasing protection for all swimmers, beachgoers and coastal users across Queensland. Now, following a spate of fatalities amongst recreational snorkellers off the coast of North Queensland late last year, SLSQ is calling for a more collective approach and collaborative effort when it comes to relevant safety strategies moving forward. SLSQ coastal safety officer Chantel Fife said ten snorkellers had tragically lost their lives in North Queensland last year, and something has to change. “Tragically, we’ve seen a significant spike in the number of snorkellers who lost their lives off the coast of Queensland last year, and it’s become quite a concern for us,” Mrs Fife said. “Investigations into the exact causes of these incidents will no doubt continue well into the future and, in addition to that, we’ll certainly be reviewing all possible avenues and strategies moving forward in a bid to increase protection for snorkellers and prevent any further incidents from occurring,” she said. Mrs Fife suggested a number of possible strategies for increasing protection, but stressed it would require a concerted and collaborative approach from all stakeholder groups within the tourism industry. “Historically, there’s been a scattered and inconsistent approach to snorkeller safety by operators within the tourism industry. There are little to no standard guidelines in place, which is a very real and clear concern for us,” she said. “It’s important to recognise that many tourists who visit our shores and participate in adventurous water activities such as snorkelling have very limited experience in and around the ocean, and it’s vital that we have appropriate safety measures in place to help protect them.

Popular snorkel destination, Green Island

“Currently there’s no requirement for any health checks prior to snorkellers getting in the water and, ideally, we’d like this changed in order to mandate health checks for all participants aged 60 years and over,” she said. Mrs Fife also encouraged the increased use of lifejackets within the industry, along with increased safety briefings on how to correctly use equipment.

Ultimately, our vision is ‘Zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’ and we’ll continue to investigate all strategies in pursuit of that goal. – Chantel Fife Coastal Safety Officer

“Currently there’s no requirement for anyone to wear a lifejacket while snorkelling and we believe that needs to change,” she said. “Unfortunately, accidents can and do occur, and that’s particularly true when the swimming ability of each individual varies so greatly. “Ideally we’d like to see the standard issue of appropriate life jackets to all snorkellers, regardless of their experience in the water,” she said. Mrs Fife said SLSQ would welcome the opportunity to work directly with tourism operators and all other stakeholder groups to ensure maximum protection for snorkellers and all coastal users. “Ultimately, our vision is ‘Zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’ and we’ll continue to investigate all strategies in pursuit of that goal.”

Beyond Patrol Issue 12


New initiatives a lifesaver in Queensland


very year, millions of people from across Australia and the world flock to our state’s beautiful beaches to soak up the surf and sun, with SLSQ’s lifeguards and surf lifesavers tasked to protect them and ensure they make it home safely to their friends and family.

It’s a vital job and one that gets more challenging each year, with strong development across Queensland’s population and tourism industry creating rapid growth in the number of visitors to our state’s beaches. In 2015/16, SLSQ’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards watched over an estimated 18.68 million beachgoers across the state, representing an average of more than 50,000 swimmers between the red and yellow flags each and every day. This was a significant increase of 18 per cent when compared to 15.75 million people in 2014/15, and a 38 per cent increase when compared to 13.5 million people in 2013/14. With this upwards trend expected to continue in the years ahead, the need for SLSQ to expand and build upon its patrol services at all levels across the state with proactive and strategic lifesaving strategies has never been greater. In recent months, SLSQ has continued to seek out innovative and ground-breaking strategies in a bid to increase its reach along Queensland’s coastline, while enhancing protection for all beachgoers. December 2016 saw an organisational-first when SLSQ rolled out low-light camera technology at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast to significantly increase beach safety around the clock. While previously, lifesavers had been able to monitor real-time beach usage and surf conditions at high-risk beaches via SLSQ’s network of 33 coastal cameras, this development marks the first time in SLSQ’s history that it has employed night vision capability to review activity after dark. The new technology comes after SLSQ used its 2016 Coast Safe Report, released late last year, to identify Surfers Paradise as a particularly high-risk coastal blackspot following eight drownings in the past ten years, all of which occurred at night or outside of patrol hours. SLSQ operations support coordinator Jason Argent said the camera would play a key role in saving lives.


Surf Life Saving Queensland

“Tragically, we’ve seen quite a few drownings at Surfers Paradise over the past ten years, which have occurred after people entered the water after dark,” Mr Argent said. “It’s obviously not possible or practical to patrol a beach every minute of every day but, in lieu of that, we’re hopeful that this new technology will give us an extra advantage when it comes to saving lives and proactively preventing incidents and injuries from occurring in the months and years ahead.” While the camera won’t be monitored 24/7 initially, Mr Argent was hopeful this would be possible in the not-too-distant future. “We’ll be using it during these early stages to gather further data and information about beach usage, high-risk behaviours, and any other areas where we can look to improve safety or possibly implement additional services down the track,” he said. “And obviously, if lifesavers finish up for the day and report that there are still a lot of people on the beach, it gives us an opportunity to log-in from SurfCom or anywhere in the state and keep a close eye on the situation,” he said. Meanwhile, SLSQ has reopened its trials of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for use in dayto-day patrol scenarios. Trials were conducted late last year at Stradbroke Island, and are likely to continue throughout 2017. Mr Argent said the organisation was looking at a range of factors when it came to drones, including safety, reliability and the effectiveness of the equipment, both on patrol and in search and rescue scenarios. “Our vision is ‘Zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’ and, as part of that, we’re constantly looking at any techniques or technology which will help increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our lifeguards and lifesavers on patrol,” he said.

Drone trials on North Stradbroke Island

“We trialled drones rather extensively a few years ago and, at the time, the technology wasn’t where we needed it to be in terms of safety and reliability.

“The most important thing for us is the safety of our members, beachgoers, and the community,” Mr Argent said.

“However, since then, there have been some significant advancements made within that space and we saw that in our recent tests,” he said.

“It’s not going to be an overnight process; any drone technology would need to pass extensive safety trials before we would consider rolling it out across the state.

If introduced, Mr Argent said that drone technology would only ever be used to complement existing services and could never replace surf lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach, nor the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.

“We also need to consider if there’s sufficient funding and volunteer manpower which would enable us to introduce it as an additional service,” he said.

We’re hopeful that this new technology will give us an extra advantage when it comes to saving lives and proactively preventing incidents and injuries from occurring in the months and years ahead. – J ason Argent Operations Support Coordinator

Beyond Patrol Issue 12


Local lifesavers win big at national awards


ueensland surf lifesavers and lifeguards continued to solidify their well-earned reputation as some of the country’s finest at Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) National Awards of Excellence held late last year in Sydney.

More than 250 dignitaries from across the country were on hand at the Art Gallery of NSW to see Pacific Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) take out the prestigious DHL Club of the Year award. The national award capped off a stellar 2016 for the Gold Coast club, which had already been recognised as Queensland’s Surf Life Saving Club of the Year and the Youth Development Club of the Year. However, this marked the club’s first time since it was founded back in 1946 that it had taken out the top national award. Australian Lifeguard of the Year, Shane Bevan

In announcing its decision, SLSA paid tribute to Pacific’s outstanding recruitment and retention strategies which saw overall membership increase by more than 30 per cent last season, from 242 to 331. Additionally, its overall inclusiveness and sustained efforts to connect with members, while developing and recognising their skills, were also highlighted as significant achievements for the club across the past 12-18 months. Pacific SLSC president Kevin Schofield said the recognition had come after a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication behind the scenes. “In the past 12-18 months we have increased our membership by 31 per cent with a focus on recruitment and community involvement,” Mr Schofield said. “Five years ago we put a plan in place to lift the club to the level it is today, and in that time we have been active in the community, working with the police, the council and disadvantaged youth. “We are also going to implement a Seahorse Nippers program at our club, which caters for children with special needs.

Athlete of the Year, Shannon Eckstein

“We have worked hard to get the club to where it is and will continue to grow. It’s our 70th anniversary year, so the party will go on for some time,” he said. Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast senior lifeguard Shane Bevan took home one of the industry’s top individual accolades when he was recognised as the DHL Australian Lifeguard of the Year for 2016. Shane has been a professional lifeguard for more than 12 years, including the past four as a full-time lifeguard based at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast. During the 2015/16 patrol season alone, Shane completed a total of 1,481 hours of service, taking his career tally through to the end of the year at almost 15,000 hours. Additionally, his efforts outside of his regular patrols were also highlighted and praised during the award process. Since obtaining his


Surf Life Saving Queensland

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in April 2014, Shane has become one of the rescue water craft trainers responsible for the training and assessment of all new lifeguards employed in the Sunshine Coast region. Reflecting on the recognition, Shane said it was nice to be rewarded but he took greater satisfaction from watching over and protecting beachgoers. “I didn’t expect it, and I was pretty humbled, but it was nice to be rewarded,” Mr Bevan said. “As a lifeguard, I like helping people and preventing someone from having a bad experience out on the beach, while trying to improve the safety at every beach I work at. “I love what I do as a job, and I just really enjoy lifeguarding and being at my second home, which is the beach,” he said. There was also plenty of joy for Queenslanders in the sporting categories, with Northcliffe’s ironman champion Shannon Eckstein named the Australian Athlete of the Year and Kurrawa’s Ryan Hoffman recognised as the Coach of the Year. If there was still any debate over Eckstein’s place as the greatest ironman in surf lifesaving history, the past 12 months put the matter beyond doubt. He dominated the surf and sand yet again on his way to claiming an 8th Australian ironman title and a 9th Kellogg’s Ironman Series title. Further victories in the Australian open male surf race and the surf team race capped off another sensational season for the veteran. Ryan Hoffman’s acknowledgement as the national coach of the year comes off the back of a long and distinguished career in surf sports. Widely regarded as the ‘team spirit’ that is Kurrawa Kraken Beach Athletics, Ryan has successfully coached a number of athletes on to international teams for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan to name a few.

DHL Club of the Year, Pacific Surf Life Saving Club

SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan OAM congratulated all winners, saying it was welldeserved recognition. “Recognition within our industry doesn’t get any higher than this, and I wish to congratulate all winners on their outstanding achievements,” he said. “Whether it’s watching over and protecting beachgoers, developing our young members coming through, or inspiring and motivating others within the movement through sporting performances, it’s clear that Queensland is continuing to lead the way.

Whether it’s watching over and protecting beachgoers, developing our young members coming through, or inspiring and motivating others within the movement through sporting performances, it’s clear that Queensland is continuing to lead the way. – J ohn Brennan OAM CEO

“While these particular clubs and individuals have been recognised for their achievements, it’s also important to recognise the collective efforts of our entire membership who continue to play a key role in saving lives along Queensland’s coastline,” he said.

Beyond Patrol Issue 12



Surf Life Saving Queensland

SLSQ’s Christmas presence saves lives Queensland’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards weren’t giving out Christmas presents over the holiday period, but their Christmas presence was far more important, with the red and yellow army combining to save almost 300 lives across the state. It proved to be a challenging few weeks, with a wave of people flocking to our state’s beautiful beaches and entrusting Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) lifesavers and lifeguards to keep them safe in and around the water. From 23 December 2016 through to 2 January 2017, more than 1.8 million people descended on SLSQ’s patrolled beaches across the state, representing a daily average of approximately 170,000 beachgoers. These figures reflect a steep rise in holiday beach usage across recent years, including a 27 per cent increase when compared to corresponding period of time in 2015/16 and almost 44 per cent growth when compared to 2014/15.

Read ahead for a full wrap of the holiday period.

Beyond Patrol Issue #


It can always be challenging over periods like this, when there are exceptionally large crowds on the beach, but it’s all part of what we train for. –P  eta Lawlor Lifesaving Services Manager

SLSQ lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor said the large crowds of people had kept both lifesavers and lifeguards on their toes across the holidays. “The Christmas and New Year periods in particular were extremely busy for surf lifesavers and lifeguards along Queensland’s coastline, with the beach proving more popular than ever amongst people looking to cool down,” Ms Lawlor said. “There were obviously a lot of people out to enjoy themselves over the holiday period, but there was no relaxing for our surf lifesavers and lifeguards – they had a crucial role to play when it came to protecting beachgoers and ensuring that everyone made it home safely at the end of the day. “It can always be challenging over periods like this, when there are exceptionally large crowds on the beach, but it’s all part of what we train for. Teamwork, effective communication and crowd management become so much more important,” she said. Given the large crowds, there was a strong emphasis on proactive patrolling, with lifesavers and lifeguards focusing on the effective management of beachgoers and the early identification of, and intervention in, any emerging issues to prevent them from developing into more dangerous scenarios. With that in mind, SLSQ’s patrolling members combined to physically perform 54,017 preventative actions during the holiday period, and directly engaged with more than 234,000 people about how to stay safe during their trip to the beach. Additionally, they also treated 1,379 first aid patients who suffered minor cuts and abrasions, representing an increase of more than 42 per cent when compared to the previous year.

Holiday snapshot:


Surf Life Saving Queensland

SLSQ’s lifesavers and lifeguards combined to directly save the lives of 296 swimmers during that period of time, an increase of more than 23 per cent when compared to 240 rescues performed during the same period of time last year. All of these efforts combined to ensure there were zero drowning deaths between the red and yellow flags during the Christmas period, a result Ms Lawlor said was a testament to the training, dedication and commitment of SLSQ’s red and yellow army. “Whenever you have so many people on the beach at any given time, there’s always the possibility of a dangerous situation arising if lifesavers and lifeguards aren’t working effectively and proactively to manage the influx of swimmers,” she said. “Our patrolling members performed exceptionally well in some rather challenging conditions across the Christmas and New Year period and they should be congratulated for their outstanding efforts. “It can sometimes be easy to take their work for granted, but these figures provided a tangible reflection of the important role they continue to play up and down Queensland’s coastline each and every year. To directly save the lives of 296 people and protect countless more through preventative measures is a tremendous effort, and something they should feel rightly proud of. “It’s important to remember that these patients were all everyday people who found themselves in trouble, but were able to return home safely to their friends and families thanks to the training, dedication, commitment and quick thinking of our men and women in red and yellow. “Above all else, the most important thing for us was to come away from the Christmas and New Year period with zero drownings between the flags; that

Large holiday crowds at Noosa Beach

has been the result of a lot of work and preparation from lifesavers and lifeguards across all corners of the state,” she said. An extensive review of SLSQ’s rescue data from the holiday period shows that people of all ages, sexes and backgrounds found themselves in trouble along Queensland’s coastline. The average known age of the people who were rescued was 25 years, with the youngest patient aged just three, and the oldest 76. Traditionally speaking, males have been at greater risk of getting into trouble while swimming in the surf and a look at SLSQ’s holiday rescues clearly indicates it continues to be the case. Of the 296 people who were rescued by lifesavers and lifeguards, 195 were males (66 per cent) compared to just 101 females (34 per cent). Despite SLSQ’s best efforts to educate beachgoers otherwise, there is an ongoing and worrying trend of people swimming outside of the flagged areas. Alarmingly, just 30 per cent of the rescues this holiday period occurred within the red and yellow flags. There were 191 rescues conducted less than one kilometre from a flagged zone, while eight were conducted up to five kilometres away from the nearest patrolled area.

Rips continue to be one of the greatest dangers on Queensland beaches and were the leading cause of rescues. In fact, 57 per cent of all rescues completed over the holiday period were the direct result of rip currents, followed by 18 per cent due to poor swimming ability. In total, 19 per cent of people who required rescuing were from overseas including multiple patients from China, India, Japan, Kenya and New Zealand, amongst others. In terms of equipment used, 37 per cent of rescues were conducted by board, followed by 19 per cent by tube and 16 per cent by inflatable rescue boat. Ms Lawlor said a review of the rescue statistics reinforced the need for all beachgoers to swim between the red and yellow flags. “History shows us that anyone, of any age, can find themselves in trouble while swimming in the surf if they’re not being careful and diligent about their personal safety,” she said. “A look at some of these statistics highlights the need for anyone heading to the beach for a swim to only enter the water at patrolled locations and during patrol times.”

Beyond Patrol Issue 12


Burleigh the best, according to SLSQ


he Gold Coast is home to the state’s best spot to cool down over summer, according to a list of top beaches released by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ).

As the state’s peak authority on coastal and aquatic safety, SLSQ released its second annual list of Queensland’s top ten beaches late last year to celebrate the summer months and help raise awareness of surf safety. The process of narrowing down hundreds of beaches across Queensland into a top ten list saw SLSQ’s coastal auditing division undertake an extensive and rigorous evaluation of safety, services and incident history. The exhaustive process saw Burleigh Beach take out the prestigious spot ahead of Noosa Main Beach, with Greenmount Beach finishing in the third position overall. Cylinder Beach on North Stradbroke Island and Alexandra Headland on the

Sunshine Coast rounded out the top five, while Bundaberg, Mackay and Cairns also had beaches featuring in the top ten. SLSQ coastal safety officer Chantel Fife said a wide range of factors had been considered when compiling the list and selecting an overall winner. “Safety is obviously our primary focus and, with that in mind, we considered a wide range of factors including everything from patrol times and services, right through to its incident history, coastal conditions and the quality of visitor information on display,” she said. “After that we looked at other areas such as how user-friendly we thought the beach was, and

Burleigh Beach


Surf Life Saving Queensland

this included things such as its location, access to parking and public transport, facilities and cleanliness. “Burleigh’s a wonderful beach and it obviously ticks a lot of those boxes; it’s easy to access, close to a lot of facilities, it’s often protected by the headland from prevailing conditions, and it’s patrolled 365 days of the year. “It’s a great option for a quick dip in the surf or a longer trip to the beach with friends and family, and is a deserving winner of the top spot,” she said. Last year, volunteer surf lifesavers patrolling Burleigh Heads recorded more than 180,000 beachgoers and performed 167 rescues, 111 first aid treatments and 2,533 preventative actions. More recently, the popular Gold Coast spot has been home to trials of specialised beach matting on Saturdays, allowing members of the public in wheelchairs to gain access to the surf and sand. With Queensland home to hundreds of beaches, Mrs Fife acknowledged there might be some people who disagreed with the decision to hand Burleigh the top spot. “There are so many beautiful beaches up and down Queensland’s coastline and everyone has their own favourite little spot they like to go to,” she said. “Trying to narrow it down to one winner is always a difficult job, but in a way that’s a good problem for us – it shows how many wonderful beaches there are in Queensland. “At the end of the day though, we don’t mind what beach people choose to swim at, as long as they swim between the red and yellow flags.” While those beaches selected in SLSQ’s top ten list represent some of the state’s safest, Mrs Fife said that SLSQ was keen to work with key stakeholders to improve beach safety at all Queensland beaches.

In the past 12 months alone SLSQ has worked in consultation with councils and local governments to conduct coastal and aquatic safety audits at numerous locations. This process sees SLSQ’s experienced team of coastal and aquatic auditors conduct on-site assessments to identify signage compliance requirements, analyse public safety risks, and ways to mitigate risks associated with aquatic environments. “For us, the beaches that we’ve highlighted within our top ten represent the benchmark this year when it comes to coastal and aquatic safety, be it through effective patrol services, appropriate safety signage, or other innovative strategies,” she said.

Trying to narrow it down to one winner is always a difficult job, but in a way that’s a good problem for us – it shows how many wonderful beaches there are in Queensland. – Chantel Fife Coastal Safety Officer

“But, as an organisation, we’re committed to improving safety at all beaches across Queensland, and we’d certainly welcome an opportunity to work directly with relevant land managers to help protect swimmers and reduce incidents at all coastal and inland aquatic locations within their relevant jurisdictions.” SLSQ’S TOP TEN BEACHES FOR 2016/17* 1. Burleigh Beach – Gold Coast 2. Noosa Main Beach – Sunshine Coast 3. Greenmount Beach – Gold Coast 4. Cylinder Beach – North Stradbroke Island 5. Alexandra Headland – Sunshine Coast 6. Mooloolaba Beach – Sunshine Coast 7. North Burleigh Beach – Gold Coast 8. Nielson Park Beach – Bundaberg 9. Harbour Beach – Mackay 10. Palm Cove – Cairns

*SLSQ’s criteria for compiling its list of top ten beaches includes a range of factors such as patrol times and service, safety signage, incident history, cleanliness, access to facilities, location and more.

Beyond Patrol Issue 12


SurfCom celebrates 40 years on air

In the years since, SurfCom has grown from strength to strength. Now operating on both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, the service has developed into a world-class and state-wide communications hub which provides a vital link between SLSQ’s assets and individual surf lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, SurfCom operators are directly responsible for a wide range of tasks, from logging rescue and beach visitation statistics through to monitoring SLSQ’s suite of 33 coastal cameras located at high-risk areas across the state. With a live stream of data, coastal conditions and vision at their fingertips, operators are well-placed to oversee and coordinate major rescues, searches and other beach-related incidents as they unfold in real-time. Original operator Michael Mahon, who remains active to this day, said that SurfCom had been built on the strength and passion of its members over the years.

Gold Coast SurfCom

In December 2016, SLSQ celebrated a major milestone when its Surf Communications Centre (SurfCom) celebrated 40 years since its inception. What started as a relatively small service back in 1976 has grown into an extensive and significant operation, which continues to play a key role saving lives each year. In its early days of operation, SurfCom was primarily used to liaise with volunteer surf lifesavers on the beach, communicate with the Westpac Helicopter, and coordinate the day-to-day operations of SLSQ’s three jet rescue boats in south-east Queensland. Armed with two UHF radios, volunteers would sign-on from a small office on the Gold Coast which, in those days, was colloquially referred to as the ‘Coolangatta Command’. However, as technology evolved, and the demands placed on individual surf lifesavers grew, so too did the role of SLSQ’s SurfCom and its operators.


Surf Life Saving Queensland

“You can’t even begin to put words to some of the people that I’ve worked with over the past forty years. They’re unsung heroes and they quite often go unrecognised. Some of the operators I’ve worked with would easily win gold at the Australian titles but their priority is lifesaving, special services, and protecting the beach,” he said. “To me, SurfCom has two main roles; the first is to get personnel and equipment to a given area in the shortest amount of time possible, and the second is to liaise with outside emergency services on behalf of patrol captains, be it police, ambulance, marine rescue and so on. “When I think of SurfCom, I think about the dozens and dozens of people who have worked there over the years and given it their all to help save lives on our beaches,” he said.

Surf safety program rides a wave of success

In December 2016, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured right) and Multicultural Affairs Minister Grace Grace joined SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan OAM to announce the State Government’s continued funding of the On The Same Wave safety initiative.

“On the Same Wave teaches beachgoers from multicultural backgrounds the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags and how to stay safe around inland waterways and identify warning signs, rips and currents,” Ms Grace said.

Each year, On The Same Wave sees trained surf lifesavers directly engage with tens of thousands of migrants, refugees and other people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to educate them about surf safety.

“On The Same Wave is a vital program when it comes to educating international beachgoers and eliminating drownings and, on behalf of SLSQ, I’d like to thank the Queensland Government for its ongoing support of this initiative,” Mr Brennan said.

It is the generous involvement of our partners that enables us to continue to keep our beaches safe. Surf Life Saving Queensland would like to thank these organisations for their ongoing support.







Beyond Patrol Issue 12


D Ensure there is no Danger for: > Yourself > Bystanders > Patient

R Check for Response by talk and touch.






If unresponsive, Send for help by calling 000.

Open Airway and ensure it is clear. If not, roll patient onto their side and clear airway.

Look, listen and feel for Breathing. If not breathing normally, commence CPR.

Start CPR. Give 30 chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths with head tilt. If unable to perform rescue

Attach Defibrillator if available. Turn on and follow voice prompts.


breaths, continue chest compressions. INFANTS: USE 2 FINGERS TO COMPRESS CHEST.


ANYONE CAN SAVE A LIFE. LEARN FIRST AID. Australian Lifesaving Academy Queensland | P: 1300 766 257 | E:

Profile for Surf Life Saving Queensland

Beyond Patrol Issue 12 2017  

The Christmas and New Year holiday period has seen millions of people flock to Queensland’s beaches, entrusting the red and yellow army of l...

Beyond Patrol Issue 12 2017  

The Christmas and New Year holiday period has seen millions of people flock to Queensland’s beaches, entrusting the red and yellow army of l...

Profile for slsq