Summer's beach guardians

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Torquay lifesaver Declan Hargreaves

250 - Rescues performed by Victorian surf lifesavers in 2014/15

4000 - Volunteer hours clocked up by Torquay Surf Life Saving Club members every summer

Every summer Torquay Surf Life Saving Club’s 200 volunteer members patrol for more than 4000 hours and perform up to 50 rescues.

They supervise more than 180,000 beach-goers over summer, but if their job is done well, it probably goes unnoticed.

Torquay Surf Life Saving Club Captain Tony White says: “We deal with a lot of minor injuries like cuts and abrasions from surfing, but 95 per cent of our work is taking preventative measures.”

Torquay Surf Life Saving Club has a simple message for beach-goers this summer: “If you aren’t sure just ask a lifeguard, there are no stupid questions.”

The Torquay Surf Life Saving Club has had no drowning incidents during patrol times when people swim between the flags.

“Every young member in this picture will rescue someone from the water in their time as a surf lifesaver,” Mr White said. “They are very capable and could also be the next (pro lifesaver)Trevor Hendy.”

Torquay Surf Life Saving Club member AJ Wight believes you can have fun and learn important life skills being a surf lifesaver. “I love the competition side of being a surf lifesaver, the patrolling is good fun and I like helping the community and being with my friends,” AJ says. “The skills we learn make me feel comfortable enough to help someone if they’re hurt or unconscious, it’s good to be able to help people like that.”

Across Victoria, surf lifesavers conducted 250 rescues and took 41,081 preventative actions on the beach in 2014/15.

RACV, on behalf of the Torquay Golf Club, donated $150,000 to the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club in 2013, to coincide with the opening of RACV Torquay Resort. The money was used to redevelop club facilities including a new training room and fire service, first aid and patrol room upgrades.

Under the same arrangement, RACV also gave $150,000 to the nearby Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club.


Picture: Shannon Morris 
Story: Jessica Hirst
Published in RoyalAuto Feb 17