Surf Lifesaving Tasmania launch Summer

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Surf Lifesaving Tasmania launch Summer as patrols hit the beaches this weekend and the Flood Rescue Symposium welcomes guest from around the worldas patrols hit the beaches this weekend and the Flood Rescue Symposium welcomes guest from around the world

Tasmanian surf lifesavers will be out in full force around the State from this weekend through until Easter; providing volunteer patrols at their local beaches and delivering community education programs statewide. Additionally, Surf Life Saving will be hosting the 2017 Floor Rescue Symposium in Hobart whereby delegates representing the European Union, United Kingdom and USA will be in attendance to share knowledge and experience gained from lessons learnt through response to flooding and extreme weather events. 

 Launch of Summer

Tipped to be a scorcher of a summer, Surf Life Saving Tasmania encourages everyone to recreate safely and swim between the flags where possible and don’t take risks. If you’re planning on visiting the beach or heading to the lakes, Surf Life Saving Tasmania encourages all members of the public to remember the following water safety tips:

Key Water Safety Messages:

  • Check the conditions – whether you’re surfing, kayaking or boating, familiarise yourself with the local conditions and the weather forecast.

If you’re surfing or swimming at a beach, spend some time back from the water looking for rips and other potential hazards before heading out or ask a local about the area. For tips on how to do this look for the Beach Safety fact sheets at or

For boating and lightweight craft safety tips visit the Marine and Safety Tasmania Website at and download the Boatwise app from iTunes

  • Enjoy the day with friends – one of the simplest ways to reduce risk is to partner up with friends and to keep an eye out for one another while enjoying the activity you are undertaking on the coast and let someone know where you are going
  • Leave the alcohol at home – having fun in or on the water is no place for alcohol
  • If in doubt, don’t go out, don’t exceed your own abilities
  • Stay safe, have fun and enjoy summer!

Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s Operations Manager, Boyd Griggs said that over 900 volunteers from Surf Life Saving Tasmania would be patrolling some of the State’s popular beaches over the holiday period from Boat Harbour in the north west to Kingston Beach in the south there is also patrolled beaches at Bridport and Scamander on the east coast.  Last season, across Tasmania SLST conducted; 

  • 22,000 volunteer patrol hours
  • Saved 152 Lives
  • Carried out 84 First Aid Treatments
  • Carried out 963 Preventative Actions
  • Reached over 30,000 people via community awareness programs, 17,000 of which were youth

“Research shows that most people drown during summer in the peak holiday periods in fine weather.  Men aged 30-39 have been identified as risk takers and represent the majority of those who drowned last year” he said.  People who live 10 km to 50 km from the coast make up almost half of recorded drowning.

Lightweight craft including sit on top kayaks and other water devices for use at the beach require extra care at this time of year.  “Young people using these, for instance received as a Christmas gift, are often unfamiliar with these devices and are not aware of the unpredictability of the surf environment. Therefore, special attention needs to be given to preparation of trips and the requirement for personal protective equipment including lifejackets” says Mr Griggs.

SLST has 14 Surf Life Saving Clubs, 7 Volunteer Marine Rescue Groups and 3 Support Operations Groups providing volunteer emergency services 365 days of the year for inland, inshore and offshore waters. Statewide Search and Rescue Operations Teams support Tasmania Police by providing volunteer emergency personnel and resources when tasked.  SLST continues to work with a range of partners to implement evidence based intervention strategies to address water safety issues and grow services in required areas.

With forecasted hot weather up to the new year, volunteer members will be patrolling at the Falls Festival at Marion Bay for the duration of the event. Those visiting the beach will be encouraged to swim between the red and yellow flags, and SLIP, SLOP, SLAP and SLIDE*!

Lifesaving Services in Tasmania

  • SLST Surf Life Saving Clubs - 14 regions (from Boat Harbour to Scamander to Clifton Beach) patrolled by volunteer surf lifesavers in Tasmania every weekend and public holidays from first weekend in December to last weekend in March
  • SLST Lifeguard Services – SLST, in partnership with Clarence City Council and Clifton Beach SLSC, providing a 7 days-a-week lifesaving service at Clifton Beach through the school summer holidays (22nd Dec to Monday 5th February). A mid-week service will also commence from January at Long Beach, Sandy Bay, Hobart and incorporate a Community Activities Holiday programs (to be advertised shortly). Services will continue to expand to other areas in the New Year.
  • SLST Support Operations - 4 Rescue Water Craft (jetskis) providing a roving patrols and education in Frederick Henry Bay, along with assisting police with Statewide Search and Rescue operations when tasked
  • Volunteer Marine Rescue – 7 units providing off-shore rescue capabilities
  • Water Safety Education Programs – various aquatic safety programs for schools and the public
  • Aquatic Risk Auditing and Management


  • SLIP on a t-shirt
  • SLOP on some sunscreen
  • SLAP on a hat
  • SLIDE on some sunglasses

Flood Rescue Symposium

The 2017 SLST Flood Rescue Symposium starts tomorrow (Thursday) in Hobart. The symposium is aimed at emergency services and support agencies involved in flood rescue and extreme weather events. Delegates from Surf Life Saving Australia and its states, as well as international partners from the UK and USA will be in attendance. Also, emergency services from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will be represented.

The symposium has been planned following involvement in the 2016 Tasmanian Floods whereby Launceston based surf lifesaving members assisted SES and other emergency services with flood rescue support in June 2016. SLST will be hosting the event for the purpose of sharing learnings and experiences gained within the international family of emergency services and workshop lessons learnt by the UK and USA around flooding and natural disasters.

What SLST hope to achieve is to initiate a global network of agencies that will come together and facilitate interoperability standards and response – achieving effective all risk, all hazard response to flooding and to contribute to a shared vision to reduce preventable deaths and provide the most effective response when activated.

It is appreciated that natural disasters are not a daily occurrence, therefore the need to ensure skills do not perish as a result is paramount. Last year, flooding and fires devastated Tasmania, so this weekend SLST aim to provide personal development for emergency service personnel and agencies to be best prepared in the future. This will involve a strategy workshop and conference at the Woolstore from tomorrow and then training starting in the Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s Headquarters (16a Evans Street, Hobart). The team will then head to New Norfolk to test their capabilities in challenging swift water conditions at the Old Plenty Railway Bridge.




Boyd Griggs | Lifesaving & Services Manager

M: 0487 435 054



Tony van den Enden | CEO

M: 0417 338 706




Surf Lifesaving Tasmania launch Summer