60 recreational surfers will learn valuable life saving skills as part of the Surfers Rescue 24/7 trial program.
Image Credit: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday 7th December 2020
In a first of its kind within Queensland, recreational surfers will receive training that has been designed to save lives on Queensland beaches as part of a new trial program, Surfers Rescue 24/7.
On Wednesday 9th December, sixty recreational surfers from the Army Surfrider Association will take part in board rescue and CPR training at Burleigh Heads as part of Surfers Rescue 24/7, an initiative of Surfing Queensland.
The course will take place within the beach area adjacent Burleigh headland from 1pm and is expected to run for approximately 3 hours.
The Surfers Rescue 24/7 Program developed by Surfing NSW in 2012 is a CPR and board rescue course specifically tailored to recreational surfers in an effort to curb the amount of beach related drownings. Currently, the program is freely available within NSW and Victoria, subsidised by their respective state Governments and Western Australia has followed suit with a similar surf safety program.
Recognising that recreational surfers are often the first respondents in many drowning incidents and that a large percentage of drownings occur on unpatrolled beaches and outside of patrolled hours, Surfing Queensland is lobbying for the Queensland Government to support the training of Queensland’s 100,000 strong recreational surfing population to help in the fight against beach related drownings.
Surfing Queensland Chief Executive Officer Adam Yates indicated that surfers can and should play an increased role in keeping people safe on Queensland’s beaches.
“Recreational surfers are in the water from dawn till dusk, 365 days a year and have an intrinsic knowledge of the ocean arming surfers with specific skills to enable them to perform rescues and save lives makes sense.”
“We’re calling on the State Government to invest in the lives of Queensland beachgoers and the reputation of our beaches by funding this program.
City of Gold Coast is rallying behind Surfers Rescue 24/7, citing that it aligns with the City’s Ocean Beaches Strategy and Surf Management Plan through ensuring a safer surf environment through engagement and education.
World champion surfer Mick Fanning has also thrown his weight behind the Surfers Rescue 24/7 program.
“Most of us that have spent our lives in the sea have been involved in helping someone in distress at some point or maybe needed help ourselves. It only takes a few hours, and it could help you save a life, it might even be your own,” Mr Fanning said.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and Surfing Queensland will comply with all State and Federal regulations.
For more information, please visit – www.surfingqueensland.com.au.