Launch of Summer

Thursday 01 December 2022

December 1st - National Water Safety Day, and Lifesavers hit the beaches this weekend, with the opening of ‘Between the Flags’ Patrol Season.

Tasmanian surf lifesavers will be out in full force around the State from Saturday 3rd December through until Easter, with Surf Lifesavers and Volunteer Marine Rescue members providing patrols at their local beaches, waterways and delivering water safety community education programs statewide.

Australians love the water and National Water Safety Day highlights the critical importance of water safety. The first day of summer is now observed annually as an occasion to encourage Australians to make water safety a priority. It is an important date on the Surf Life Saving calendar as summer is the busiest time of the year for surf lifesavers and beach goers.

Surf Life Saving Tasmania CEO, Tony van den Enden said “Tasmania is renowned for its extensive, diverse, and impressive coastline, attracting visitors from within Tasmania, internationally and interstate. However, despite its beauty, the coast can pose a hazard to many, with surf lifesavers, volunteer marine rescue members and lifeguards, as well as members of the public, often going to the aid of those who are unaware of the dangers and find themselves caught in hazardous situations.”

“In the past year, Tasmanian surf lifesavers, volunteer marine rescue members and lifeguards have rescued, assisted and provided first aid treatments to more than 2,000 people. If not for these brave actions undertaken by surf lifesavers, volunteer marine rescue members and lifeguards, the number of drowning deaths and fatalities would be much higher. Tragically, in spite of these incredible efforts of many, lives were still lost. A total of sixteen lives were lost along the Tasmanian coast. Of these, 12 have been attributed to drowning, with a further four fatalities recorded. Drowning death numbers for this year were significantly above the previous year (2020/21) and the 10-year average.”

Last season Tasmanian surf life saving clubs, volunteer marine rescue units and support services performed 22,483 recorded patrol hours, performed 55 rescues, 1,809 preventative actions, treated 108 First aid cases and responded to 52 activations from the Tasmanian Police.

It is important to recognise the efforts of our volunteers and staff in providing a safe aquatic environment for Tasmania.

Key Actions & Safety Tips

  • Swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs while undertaking water activities
  • Always supervise children on, in and around water at all times
  • Check weather conditions before heading out
  • Wear a lifejacket if you are going rock fishing, or on watercraft
  • Visit org.au to find your nearest patrol beach

Lifesaving Services in Tasmania

  • SLST Surf Life Saving Clubs - 14 Surf Life Saving Clubs patrolled by volunteer surf lifesavers on weekends and public holidays from the first weekend in December to the last weekend in March. Emergency response team capability 365 days a year.
  • Volunteer Marine Rescue – 7 units assisting police with State-wide Search and Rescue operations when tasked.
  • SLST Lifeguard Services – in partnership with Clarence City Council and Clifton Beach SLSC, Surf Life Saving Tasmania provide a 7 days-a-week lifesaving service at Clifton Beach through the school summer holidays.
    A mid-week service will also commence in January at Long Beach, Sandy Bay and deliver a 4-week Community Education Holiday Program.
  • SLST Support Operations - 2 Rescue Water Craft (jetskis) and 1 Jet Rescue Boat providing roving patrols and education.
  • Flood Rescue Teams – supporting Tasmania Police and SES for flooding events in Tasmania and interstate.

Media Contact

Ned Reardon (Lifesaving & Member Training Coordinator) | 0488 400 996 | nreardon@slst.asn.au

Launch of Summer