Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Lifesaver at work

The red and yellow clad surf lifesavers on our beaches are volunteers. (Local councils also employ paid lifeguards in some places). Here at Maroubra, this man was working hard (with colleagues) trying to get people to stay in the safe areas to swim.

Every year people drown on Australian becahes from swimming in dangerous areas. Often the water that looks the calmest is in fact a rip which will carry a person way offshore very quickly. People often panic and lose energy trying to swim against the rip. Correct procedure is to let it carry you until it peters out, then swim to one side and attempt to catch waves back to shore. If you swim at a patrolled beach, swim between the flags in the patrolled area, and if you get into difficulties, raise one arm to attract attention from one of these dedicated band of volunteers.

Read more about surf livesavers here


  1. He definitely looks like he has his work cut out for him!

  2. Do you think he's shouting "For the love of Mike will you get out of the flippin' water?" or maybe worse!

    I do love his hat.

  3. The son of a friend of mine disapeared a few years back when he went for a dip, leaving his young girlfriend standing waiting on the sand. His first trip to Australia and his last. Some weeks later he was washed up onto another beach. It is very easy to be misled about the local sea conditions.
    I always admire volunteers like the one shown, they do a difficult job.

  4. Winifred: he had a whistle which he blew at fairly regular intervals!

    Paul - that's a tragic story and must have affected everyone profoundly. Tourists are amongst the most commonly rescued people, not understanding local conditions. Also, sadly, recent arrivals and citizens. We used to learn all about rips and swimming between the flags and all that at school.

    Then there's the foolhardy, and sadly those who think it's a bright idea to combine alcohol consumption and a swim.