Surf Life Saving Tasmania launches into Summer as Lifesavers hit the beaches next weekend and Lifeguard Service supported by Clarence City Council celebrates 15 years

Tasmanian surf lifesavers will be out in full force around the State from Saturday 5th December through until Easter; Lifesavers and Marine Rescue Volunteers will be providing patrols at their local beaches, waterways and delivering community education programs state wide. Additionally, Surf Life Saving will also be celebrating 15 years since the start of the weekday Lifeguard Service at Clifton Beach kindly supported by the Clarence City Council.  

Launch of Summer

As more Tasmanian’s holiday at home this summer and as boarders slowly open we are tipped to see tourism flurry, Surf Life Saving Tasmania encourages everyone to recreate safely, swim between the flags where possible and don’t take risks. If you’re planning on visiting the beach or other various waterways, Surf Life Saving Tasmania encourages all members of the public to remember the following water safety tips and remember to stay COVID-safe.

Key Water Safety Messages:

  • STOP, LOOK, PLAN - whether you’re surfing, kayaking or boating, familiarise yourself with the local conditions, weather forecast, be aware of your limitations and have available the right safety equipment.

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 www.slst.asn.au or www.beachsafe.org.au

For boating and lightweight craft safety tips and latest standards (lifejackets and safety gear), visit the Marine and Safety Tasmania Website at www.mast.tas.gov.au.

  • 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
  • Remember to stay COVID-Safe and set yourself up at least 1.5m away from others — more is better, if you can. You should still swim between the flags (where possible), but remember to demonstrate social distancing requirements
  • Stay safe, have fun and enjoy summer!

Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s Operations Manager, Boyd Griggs said that over 800 volunteers from Surf Life Saving Clubs and Marine Rescue Units would be patrolling some of the State’s popular beaches and waterways over the holiday period. Last season, across Tasmania SLST conducted;

  • 148 Lives Saved
  • 15,868 Preventative Actions
  • 21,535 Volunteer Patrol Hours
  • 1,245 Lifeguard Patrol Hours
  • 145 First Aid Treatments
  • 2,480 Total Members
  • 917 Total Nippers
  • 50,000 People reached via Community Awareness Programs, over 15,000 youth

“Research shows that most people drown during summer in the peak holiday periods in fine weather.  Men aged 25-34 have been identified as risk takers and represent the majority of those who drowned last year” he said.  Coastal incidents were up with 125 coastal drowning deaths, 82 drowning deaths in inland waterways, and 28 in swimming pools.  A further breakdown of coastal waters found 45 drowning deaths on beaches, 41 offshore and 26 at rock/cliff locations.

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 15 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.

Lifesaving Services in Tasmania

  • SLST Surf Life Saving Clubs - 15 (from Boat Harbour to Kingston Beach). 14 patrolled by volunteer surf lifesavers in Tasmania every weekend and public holidays from first weekend in December to last weekend in March. Raspins Beach SLSC are currently a probationary club not providing patrols.
  • 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 (16th December to 4th February). A mid-week service will also commence from 4th January at Long Beach, Sandy Bay, Hobart and deliver a 4-week Community Education Holiday Program (attached).
  • SLST Support Operations - 2 Rescue Water Craft (jetskis) and 2 Jet Rescue Boats providing roving patrols and education, along with assisting police with State-wide Search and Rescue operations when tasked
  • Volunteer Marine Rescue – 7 units providing off-shore rescue capabilities. Wynyard to Kettering
  • Water Safety Education Programs – various aquatic safety programs for schools and the public
  • “Our club, is your club” National Recruitment Campaign - https://sls.com.au/our-club-is-your-club/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

National Coastal Safety Report 2020 – A Coastal Drowning and Fatality Overview

https://issuu.com/surflifesavingaustralia/docs/ncsr_2020_rgb_issuu_final

VOLUNTEER PATROLS

Boyd Griggs | Operations Manager

M: 0437 099 973

E: bgriggs@slst.asn.au

LIFEGUARD SERVICES AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Leanne Johannesen | Training & Community Programs Manager

M: 0447 287 847

E: ljohannesen@slst.asn.au