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ISSUE 17 | 2018

Record season comes to a close Golden Games for the red and yellow New technology set to save lives



n behalf of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) I would like to welcome you to the latest edition of our quarterly magazine, Beyond Patrol.

What an extraordinary few months it has been for our organisation and its members, as the state played host to thousands of athletes, international tourists, and domestic visitors for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Importantly, SLSQ introduced a raft of new and extended services in the lead up to the Games to help protect the anticipated influx of visitors to Queensland. I am particularly pleased to note there were zero drownings and minimal coastal incidents recorded, which is an outstanding result and a testament to the professionalism and dedication of Queensland’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards. It was also wonderful to see our volunteers featured so prominently throughout the Games, from participation in the Queen’s Baton Relay and Opening Ceremony through to winning medals on the global stage. I encourage you to read ahead for a full wrap of SLSQ’s Commonwealth Games involvement. In the sporting arena, we saw some great competition at our recent Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships, while hundreds of local representatives lined up at the Australian Championships in Perth. As we move into winter, SLSQ’s inflatable rescue boat and pool rescue competitions will provide our lifesavers with a competitive avenue to hone and craft their vital skills. It has also been a busy period for our surf lifesavers across the state, as more than 9,000 volunteers raised the red and yellow flags one final time before the 2017/18 season officially came to a close on Monday 7 April. Their efforts over the past eight months have been nothing short of inspiring and ensured there were zero drownings recorded between the red and yellow flags. While our volunteers from Forrest Beach to Rainbow Bay have wrapped up for the season, our North Queensland members will continue to patrol their local beaches through to November, and our professional lifeguard service remains active 365 days of the year. While the cooler months are now upon us, our efforts on the beach and behind the scenes continue. I look forward to working with all stakeholders and sponsors as we continue to pursue our vision of ‘Zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.’

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. lifesaving.com.au Beyond Patrol staff and contributors: Writer: Cameron Ward Designer: Chloe Koklas


Surf Life Saving Queensland

New figures highlight membership growth

New figures released by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) have highlighted a strong growth in membership across the past 12 months, and a record number of volunteer surf lifesavers lining up to protect beachgoers. The increase comes off the back of a sustained focus on the recruitment, retention, and development of members across all levels of the organisation. In 2017/18, SLSQ’s six branches and 58 clubs across the state encompassed a total of 32,291 volunteer members, reflecting an annual increase of 3.85 per cent when compared to 31,093 members in 2016/17. This continues a recent upwards trend and represents the first time since 2012 that SLSQ’s total membership has exceeded 32,000. The annual increase was underpinned by strong growth across a number of categories, including junior activities members (six per cent), award members (six per cent), and associate members (six per cent) amongst others. Importantly, SLSQ also recorded the highest number of active patrolling members in its history, with 9,120 volunteers keeping watch over Queensland beachgoers this season. This represents a significant 28 per cent growth over the past decade, up from 7,075 active patrolling members in 2007/08. While the organisation’s recruitment strategies have delivered positive results, SLSQ membership development manager Brenda Lofthouse said the retention of volunteers across the state would remain a core focus.

“We’ve had a record number of active patrolling members this year and the benefits of that flow down to all beachgoers across the state. “There’s a lot of hard work and planning that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to member recruitment and retention, and it’s great to see those strategies continuing to pay off,” she said. Moving forward, Ms Lofthouse further said SLSQ would continue to roll out key membership development programs to build on its recent growth. “Our membership is extremely broad and diverse, from nippers aged five through to patrolling members over 70 and everything else in between,” she said.

“As with any volunteer movement, SLSQ is only as strong as its members, and it’s been great to see such a strong upwards trend over the past 12 months,” she said.

“The challenge for us is to develop a range of programs that attract, engage, and develop all of our members, regardless of whether they’re a teenager on the Gold Coast or a single parent in North Queensland.

“But even more importantly, there’s been consistent membership growth across SLSQ now over a number of years, which is a great sign for the long-term sustainability of the organisation.

“However, the work that we’re doing when it comes to membership development and sustainability will help ensure that we’re well-positioned to continue building on this recent growth for years to come.”

Beyond Patrol Issue 17


Golden Games for the red and yellow

The eyes of the world were squarely fixed on the Gold Coast in April, when the city played host to thousands of international athletes, spectators, and tourists for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. While there were plenty of golden moments across the 10 days of action, the Games also had a distinctly red and yellow feel to it, with SLSQ’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards playing a multitude of key roles both on and off the beach. From the Opening Ceremony to the sporting arena and beyond, the surf lifesaving movement was proudly represented and highlighted as an iconic and vital part of Queensland’s coastline. SLSQ’s involvement kicked off before the Games had even begun, with a number of volunteer surf lifesavers recognised for their contributions to the community and selected to carry the Queen’s Baton as part of its relay from London to the Gold Coast. This culminated with dozens of surf lifesavers, led by ironman legend Trevor Hendy and accompanied by a flotilla of rescue boats, safely guiding the baton onto the shores of Surfers Paradise to commence the final day of the relay.


Surf Life Saving Queensland

Later that evening, more than 500 fully-qualified surf lifesavers, nippers, coaches, and team managers played a key role in the Games’ Opening Ceremony, proudly representing the movement in front of a global audience nearing 1 billion people. Importantly, their involvement not only served to highlight the vital work of surf lifesavers across Queensland, but also provided a unique and pertinent opportunity to remind athletes and visitors to always swim between the flags. SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan OAM said it was wonderful to see the surf lifesaving movement highlighted on the global stage. “Surf lifesavers are an iconic part of the Gold Coast and an iconic part of Queensland, and it was really special to see our volunteers recognised with such strong representation over the Commonwealth Games,” he said. “Millions of people from across the world tuned in to watch the Opening Ceremony, and it provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to highlight our volunteers while, at the same time, encouraging international audiences to stay safe at the beach.”

The Games also saw almost 40 of SLSQ’s highlytrained professional lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers use their expertise to provide water safety services during the individual and team triathlon events. In addition, SLSQ was represented in the sporting arena with a number of members selected to represent Australia within their respective sporting disciplines. Metropolitan Caloundra surf lifesaver Brenden Hall won gold in the Men’s S9 100m Backstroke and bronze in the Men’s S9 100m Freestyle, while Northcliffe’s Laura Taylor won a silver medal in the Women’s 200m Butterfly. In addition, Southport’s David Morgan was a member of Australia’s gold medalwinning Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay and also won silver in the 200m Butterfly.

Beach safety services prove a lifesaver On the front-line, SLSQ’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards were kept busy as thousands of tourists flocked to experience the Gold Coast’s iconic and world-famous beaches. During the peak period of 1-22 April, the red and yellow army combined to watch over 220,500 beachgoers across the Gold Coast while, at the same time, treating 636 first aid patients and rescuing 80 swimmers in distress. Gold Coast lifesaving services coordinator Nathan Fife said SLSQ had embarked on months of planning and preparation leading into the Games, with patrol hours and services boosted at key beaches and identified blackspots. “The Commonwealth Games represented one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced as an organisation, particularly when you consider the number of international travellers and domestic tourists flying in and out of the Gold Coast over those few weeks,” he said. “The beaches weren’t necessarily always overrun with people, but it was that constant stream of tourists across the coastline that kept our surf lifesavers and lifeguards on alert.

“It was a brand new scenario for us, and a lot of work went on behind the scenes to ensure that our members were prepared for anything and everything that could get thrown their way. “Our volunteer surf lifesavers deserve an enormous amount of credit for going above and beyond, with additional patrols and extended hours from 6am to 6pm to help make sure that everyone who visited a Gold Coast beach over that period was able to get home safely,” he said. In addition to extended hours, SLSQ also rolled out additional helicopter and jet ski patrols, boosted its lifeguard services at Tallebudgera Creek and Southport Broadwater, and increased its focus on after-hours emergency response. Meanwhile, SLSQ’s community awareness team also provided a strong presence around Surfers Paradise and in the Athlete’s Village, distributing beach safety information and teaching international guests about how to stay safe in the surf. “The world was watching and the last thing we wanted was a drowning or serious incident on the beach, so we really focused on implementing those proactive services and initiatives to help keep people safe,” Mr Fife said. “We also worked closely with the Gold Coast City Council lifeguards leading into, and during, the Games and that integration of services also helped boost safety for all beachgoers as well. “When people look back on the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the years to come, it will be really rewarding for us as an organisation to know that we played our role in its success.”

While there were plenty of golden moments across the 10 days of action, the Games also had a distinctly red and yellow feel to it, with SLSQ’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards playing a multitude of key roles both on and off the beach.

Beyond Patrol Issue 17


Thousands of lifesavers dive into Queensland Championships

Skills such as reading the surf, navigating rips, and getting out past the break as quickly as possible might help someone win a gold medal at events like this but, more importantly, the exact same skillset could help save a life under different circumstances –S  tuart Hogben Sports Manager, SLSQ

There were thrills, spills, and plenty of action in between as thousands of the state’s top surf sport athletes flocked to the Sunshine Coast over two weekends in March for the 2018 Queensland Youth, Open, and Masters Surf Life Saving Championships. As the pinnacle events on SLSQ’s sporting calendar, the annual Championships attracted more than 3,500 surf lifesavers and roughly 6,000 coaches, spectators, and support crew from all corners of the state. In total, the events injected an estimated $3.75 million back into local businesses, communities, and the broader Sunshine Coast economy. The racing kicked off with the Queensland Youth Championships, held over three days from March 2-4 at Alexandra Headland. The weekend saw some 1,650 nippers and young lifesavers dive in to compete against each other in a variety of disciplines including surf races, board paddling, and beach sprints. Gold Coast club Currumbin ended a 20 year drought when it took out the overall honours ahead of Northcliffe and Maroochydore. The action continued two weeks later with the Masters competition on Friday 14 March, before Queensland’s fittest and fastest surf lifesavers took centre stage at the Open Championships across the weekend. In the blue-ribbon iron events, Courtney Hancock beat home a star-studded field to join the great Karla Gilbert as the only women in history to have won three Queensland titles. Meanwhile, ironman Ali Day also mastered the tricky conditions to secure his third career title in the prestigious event. In the overall stakes, Gold Coast club Northcliffe continued its domination of the event, recording an impressive 14th consecutive victory. Importantly, each year the Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships continue to grow in size


Surf Life Saving Queensland

and stature, reflecting a continued thirst from athletes across the state for elite level surf sports competition. However, what can often be lost amongst the action and excitement of racing is that each and every competitor who lines up is a highly-trained surf lifesaver in their own right, with the skills and knowledge to patrol Queensland’s coastline and protect beachgoers. From beach sprints and board paddles to surf swims and the highly-technical rescue and resuscitation event, all of the skills performed in the competitive arena are the exact same skills that surf lifesavers and lifeguards are often required to carry out on a daily basis when patrolling the state’s coastline. And therein lies the key difference between surf lifesaving and other sporting codes across the country. Regardless of the event, athletes, or discipline, the underlying purpose of our sporting competition is to improve and refine lifesaving skills, recruit and retain members and, ultimately, support the organisation’s overarching vision of eliminating drownings across Queensland. This was no more evident than during the penultimate day of competition at the Senior Championships, when a routine qualifying race turned into a genuine life or death mass rescue. As competitors lined up to contest the under-19 taplin relay, they were alerted to a group of Asian tourists struggling in the water at an unpatrolled stretch of beach nearby. The group was caught in a treacherous rip, struggling to stay afloat, and getting dragged further out to sea by the minute. With no hesitation, a group of four athletes and a coach immediately abandoned the race and rushed to assist, using years of lifesaving training to safely navigate the tricky surf and assist the group of swimmers back to shore. Eighteen-year-old Burleigh Heads lifesaver Cooper Miskell said his training kicked in the moment he saw the swimmers in trouble.

“They had their hands in the air waving, were gasping for air and struggling to keep their heads above water,” he said. “We pulled them onto the boards so they could get their breath back and then brought them in; this is what we train for.” SLSQ sports manager Stuart Hogben said the rescue highlighted the importance and value of competitive surf lifesaving. “The competitors who lined up at our Queensland Championships weren’t only world-class athletes, there were also world-class surf lifesavers in their own right,” he said.

“In fact every single race at our championships, and any sporting event we roll out, are all designed to challenge and test the core skills that our lifesavers use to patrol Queensland’s coastline.

Top left: Ironman champion Ali Day. Bottom left: Lifesavers rush to assist a struggling swimmer in the water. Right: Hervey Bay nippers go for gold at SLSQ’s Youth Championships.

“Skills such as reading the surf, navigating rips, and getting out past the break as quickly as possible might help someone win a gold medal at events like this but, more importantly, the exact same skillset could help save a life under different circumstances, and that’s exactly what’s happened here. “There’s no doubt a tragedy was averted that day, thanks only to the training and skillset of our surf lifesaving competitors,” he said.

Beyond Patrol Issue 17


Volunteers pack up the flags after another season of patrols After eight months and 362,735 hours on patrol, thousands of surf lifesavers from Forrest Beach down to Rainbow Bay raised the red and yellow flags one final time on Monday 7 May, before SLSQ’s 2017/18 patrol season officially came to a close. The red and yellow army of volunteer lifesavers has been watching over and protecting Queensland beaches every weekend and public holiday since 16 September 2017, and will now take a well-earned break before the 2018/19 season kicks off towards the end of this year. Throughout the season, volunteer surf lifesavers combined to watch over in excess of 3.1 million beachgoers across the state. In addition, they performed 68,843 preventative actions to proactively protect swimmers, treated 11,030 first aid patients for minor injuries and, most importantly, directly saved the lives of 869 people via in-water rescues. SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill ESM said the figures were a genuine reflection of the key role that Queensland’s volunteer surf lifesavers continue to play up and down the state’s coastline each year. Read on for the full story.


Surf Life Saving Queensland

“Our volunteers have done a remarkable job across the season, quite often in testing and trying conditions, so full credit and thanks goes out to each and every person who gave up time with their friends and family to help keep beachgoers safe,” Mr Hill said. “On top of the regular challenges they face, they’ve also had to contend with large crowds and unpredictable weather, not to mention the increased tourists and extra pressure that came with the Commonwealth Games. “It takes an incredible amount of training, dedication, hard work, and sacrifice to become a fully-fledged patrolling surf lifesaver. It’s not always an easy job, but it’s a vital role, and across the past eight months our volunteers continued to show why they’re genuine lifesavers in every sense of the word. “Collectively, our members have volunteered in excess of 362,000 hours on the beach this season alone and that’s not including countless additional hours spent behind the scenes fundraising, training, and upskilling. The economic and financial value of these volunteers is almost immeasurable.”


Surf Life Saving Queensland

With record crowds of beachgoers continuing to flock to Queensland’s coastline, Mr Hill further said the work of surf lifesavers had never been more important. “The efforts of our lifesavers has been nothing short of amazing, particularly when you consider that 869 lives have been saved since September alone,” he said. “That’s 869 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who were all given a second chance in life thanks to the bravery and quick thinking of Queensland’s lifesavers. “Once again this demonstrates just how vital our members are to Queensland; you can only imagine how disastrous it would be to our state and its tourism industry if even a tenth of those rescues had been drownings instead,” he said. While the majority of surf lifesavers across the state will now take a well earned rest, SLSQ’s most northern members from Port Douglas down to Mission Beach will continue patrolling during the cooler months.

Closures prove a challenge

Data highlights rescue trends

The past season proved to be one of extremes for both surf lifesavers and lifeguards across the state, with sustained and unseasonably warm temperatures ensuring large crowds of people flocked to Queensland beaches. When coupled with periods of heavy swell and unpredictable surf conditions, this led to multiple instances across the season when lifesavers and lifeguards combined to rescue more than 50 people in a day.

A review of rescue data from across the volunteer patrol season indicates that people of all genders and backgrounds are continuing to get into trouble while swimming in the surf.

In addition, patrolling members were also forced to contend with recurring periods of heavy swell, king tides, and other challenging coastal conditions, along with semi-regular sightings of sharks, crocodiles, and dangerous marine stingers. This prompted a significant number of beach closures across the peak months, reinforcing the importance of effective beach management, proactive patrolling, and preventative actions to keep people safe in and around the water. From 17 September 2017 through to 7 May 2018, there were 1,301 beach closures logged, representing a 49 per cent increase when compared to the 869 beach closures recorded in 2016/17. The most common reasons for closures this season were dangerous surf (430 closures), storms (310 closures), and strong currents (135 closures). In addition, there were also 82 beach closures attributed to dangerous marine stingers, 43 closures because of sharks, and 25 closures following crocodile sightings. Mr Hill said the figures highlighted the challenges that SLSQ’s surf lifesavers and lifeguards regularly faced over the peak summer months. “There was a clear spike in the number of beach closures this season, and that goes to show how unpredictable the coastal conditions have been across the past eight months,” he said. “We also saw quite a few beaches closed as a result of dangerous marine creatures, which also kept our lifesavers and lifeguards on their toes. “Beach and crowd management is an essential part of lifesaving, particularly when conditions are dangerous. The decision to close a beach is always made in the interests of public safety; it can be challenging for our members, but it’s all part of what they train for,” he said.

The average known age of patients was 25.9 years, while a breakdown of sexes shows that 62.6 per cent of those pulled from the surf were male. At least 158 international tourists or migrants were rescued, from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Italy.

The efforts of our lifesavers has been nothing short of amazing, particularly when you consider that 869 lives have been saved since September alone. –G  eorge Hill ESM Chief Operating Officer, SLSQ

Remarkably, of the 869 rescues performed by volunteer surf lifesavers this season, more than 75 per cent occurred outside of the red and yellow flags. This included 60 rescues performed more than 500 metres away from the nearest patrolled area. Mr Hill said it was a disappointing trend, and one that SLSQ was committed to addressing moving forward. “It’s important to remember that our surf lifesavers are volunteers and, just like everyone else, they want to go home safely at the end of the day,” he said. “Unfortunately, when people swim outside of the flags, they’re not only risking their own lives, they’re also putting our patrolling members at significant risk as well.”

Winter services set to save lives While most of the state’s volunteer surf lifesavers will be taking a well-earned rest until September, SLSQ’s professional lifeguards will continue to operate at Queensland’s most popular beaches across the winter months. In addition, SLSQ will also remain active through its 24/7 emergency response groups, which operate in all regions across the state. On the Gold Coast, SLSQ’s dawn service will continue to perform roving patrols every day of the year. The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service will also continue to operate across South East Queensland during the cooler months, with crews remaining on-call around the clock to assist with any emergency search and rescue operations.

Beyond Patrol Issue 17


Australian-first technology rolled out on Queensland beaches

The challenge for us is to continue looking at innovative ways that we can stretch our resources and maximise manpower to ensure we’re covering as much of Queensland’s coastline as possible.

Since its inception more than a century ago, the surf lifesaving movement has delivered a vital service to communities across the state.

– J ason Argent Lifesaving Operations Coordinator, SLSQ

It was the first recorded rescue along Queensland’s coastline and, since then, SLSQ lifesavers and lifeguards have plucked more than 140,000 people from the surf.

In Queensland, the movement dates all the way back to February 1909 when a group of volunteers used a traditional line and belt to pull four women and a man from a treacherous rip at Greenmount Beach on the Gold Coast.

While much of the surf lifesaving movement as it stands today can be traced back to that fateful afternoon in 1909, there have been significant changes in years since. The line and belt, which saved countless lives more than a century ago, has long made way for more efficient and effective technology including the likes of rescue boards, tubes, jet skis, and inflatable boats. Meanwhile, from those humble beginnings, SLSQ has since developed into a ground-breaking organisation and one of the world’s leading authorities on coastal and aquatic safety. However, one thing that hasn’t changed over the past 109 years is SLSQ’s unwavering commitment to saving lives. In fact, it’s this underlying vision that continues to see the organisation pursue innovative technological advancements in a bid to increase its reach and protect all swimmers up and down Queensland’s coastline.


Surf Life Saving Queensland

“It sounds clichéd, but every second counts when there’s a life on the line; if we can find ways to improve how we patrol a beach or how we go about performing a rescue, it could literally mean the difference between a drowning and a successful rescue.” In recent months SLSQ developed and rolled out two mobile emergency response beacons and cameras on the Sunshine Coast, with the Australian-first technology set to combat drownings at identified high-risk stretches of coastline. To date the technology has been deployed and set up at two locations across the Sunshine Coast, one near Double Island Point and the other between Boardwalk and Yaroomba beaches.

SLSQ lifesaving operations coordinator Jason Argent said new technology trialled and introduced in recent months would see the organisation take a giant stride towards its overarching goal of eliminating drowning deaths across Queensland.

Moving forward, the coastal cameras will allow lifeguards and surf lifesavers to monitor the blackspot locations both remotely and aroundthe-clock, while the beacons can be activated by members of the public to directly alert SLSQ if a beachgoer is in danger and requires immediate assistance.

“As an organisation, we’re always trying to be on the front foot when it comes to exploring and implementing new technology to help save lives,” he said.

“We’d obviously love to have an active patrol service on every beach across Queensland, but unfortunately that’s neither realistic nor possible,” Mr Argent said.

“The challenge for us as an organisation is to continue looking at innovative ways that we can stretch our resources and maximise manpower moving forward to ensure we’re covering as much of Queensland’s coastline as possible. “Importantly, the mobile cameras ensure that our surf lifesavers and lifeguards can still monitor those high-risk and particularly dangerous stretches of coastline and also be in a position to respond immediately to any incidents unfolding,” he said. The mobile technology is the first of its kind in Australia and, while initial trials are being staged on the Sunshine Coast, the opportunity exists for it to be rolled out state-wide. “The cameras provide us with a live feed of the area that will be monitored by our state operations centre, and will allow us to be a lot more proactive in terms of deploying assets or resources,” he said. “Meanwhile if someone spots a beachgoer in trouble or immediate danger, they can activate a button on the emergency response beacon which will put them in direct contact with someone at SLSQ who can then task any lifesaving assets accordingly. “The beacon can be activated around the clock on a 24/7 basis and, if a call comes through outside of our regular patrol hours, it will go through to one

of our emergency response groups who will be in a position to respond quickly to any incidents,” he said. Importantly, on the beach and in the sky, SLSQ continues to embrace new technology to boost coastal safety across the state. Trials of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have also continued at various beaches across South East and North Queensland, with lifeguards testing the equipment’s effectiveness and durability across both patrol and rescue scenarios. Meanwhile, in the state’s far north, UAV trials have also been conducted in recent months to determine their effectiveness when it comes to identifying and monitoring crocodile activity in the water. “The potential benefits of UAV technology are huge, particularly from a lifesaving and beach management perspective, and we’re continuing to actively trial them in a range of scenarios across Queensland,” Mr Argent said. “Drone technology will never replace the men and women patrolling our beaches, but we’re hopeful it can potentially give us an extra advantage when it comes to saving lives and proactively preventing incidents from occurring in the years ahead,” he said.

Beyond Patrol Issue 17


Surf awareness making waves

“We deliver a wide range of educational programs each year, targeting various groups including school children, international tourists, migrants, rural communities, and domestic travellers to name a few. “Those programs touch on a broad range of topics and include everything from where to swim safely and what flags to look for, right through to performing CPR and how to assist someone who’s got into trouble in the surf. “As far as we’re concerned, prevention is better than a cure, so we want to be reaching people early and teaching them about water safety before they even step foot on a beach or dip their toe into a lake or dam. “If we can do that, it allows them to make more educated choices about their personal safety and, ultimately, reduces the overall risk of an incident or drowning from occurring,” she said.

Every year SLSQ introduces new and extended services along Queensland’s coastline protect swimmers and eliminate drowning deaths. Importantly, these on-beach initiatives are supported by increased efforts behind-thescenes to also save lives through education and prevention. In the past 12 months alone, SLSQ has directly engaged with more than 200,000 people about aquatic safety, providing them with the skills and knowledge to protect themselves at the beach and in other public waterways.


Surf Life Saving Queensland

Traditionally, the majority of SLSQ’s community awareness programs have focused on beach safety, but Ms Maxwell said a broadened focus on all public waterways would continue to pay dividends moving forward. “Queensland is home to some of the best beaches in the world, but we also have an abundance of dams, lakes, rivers, lagoons, and other inland waterways across the state,” she said. “Many of these are unpatrolled, so it’s really important that anyone going for a swim has at least a basic understanding about what they can do to minimise risks and stay safe in the water.

SLSQ community awareness coordinator Chloe Maxwell said the time and resources spent upskilling members of the pubic was a vital investment, with data suggesting that educated swimmers were far less likely to get into trouble in the water.

“Earlier this year SLSQ launched its inaugural Water Safe Week which saw lifesavers roll out educational programs specifically targeting those inland waterways, and that’s something we’ll look to build on moving forward,” she said.

“Community awareness and education continues to be a huge focus area for SLSQ; in fact, it’s probably fair to say that most people don’t actually realise the amount of work that we do off the beach to help reduce drownings,” she said.

The coming months will also see surf lifesavers travel thousands of kilometres to some of Queensland’s rural and remote communities to educate school children about water safety as part of this year’s Breaka Beach to Bush program.

Funding a lifesaver for SLSQ

Surf lifesavers across the state have received a much-needed boost, thanks to crucial support and funding from the Cory Charitable Foundation (CFF). The generous donation allowed SLSQ to purchase and distribute 40 helmets and 65 personal flotation devices to all clubs across Queensland.

“Our lifesavers perform a vital service each year, but they rely heavily on the ongoing support of the community and organisations such as the Cory Charitable Foundation to ensure we have the resources in place to patrol and protect Queensland beaches,” she said.

SLSQ lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor said the crucial support would significantly enhance the organisation’s patrol and rescue capacity.

“On behalf of SLSQ and our members, I wish to thank the Cory Charitable Foundation for this generous donation and show of support.”

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 17


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: bookings@alaq.com.au

Profile for Surf Life Saving Queensland

Beyond Patrol Issue 17 2018  

As the state’s peak authority on coastal and aquatic safety, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) continues to focus on delivering innovative...

Beyond Patrol Issue 17 2018  

As the state’s peak authority on coastal and aquatic safety, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) continues to focus on delivering innovative...

Profile for slsq