Lifesavers Lower Flags On Patrol Season

The 2015/16 Patrol Season ended on Monday with lifesavers taking the opportunity to reflect on the season that was.

The season began back in September with a stunning Raising of the Flags ceremony at Sydney’s Coogee Beach.

Since that first day of patrols, our frontline volunteers have performed over 6000 rescues, faced a near doubling of first aid treatments to 16,000, and initiated over 150,000 preventative actions.

They’ve battled searing heat, large crowds, and call outs to a variety of emergency situations. Through their volunteer efforts they have cemented their reputation in the public eye as a respected icon of the Australian summer.

Over 6 million people have attended a NSW beach this season – a figure slightly down on last year but it is expected to rise as the data is finalised. There was, however, a significant increase in crowds throughout the December – January holiday period.

Consecutive hot days and the annual influx of tourists to popular holiday destinations along with an unusually warm autumn has guaranteed a busy time for our members.

NSW Director of Lifesaving John Restuccia said many lifesavers have gone beyond the call of duty this season.

“Our volunteers have done a sensational job not only on patrol, but also spreading the message of surf safety to visitors to their beach. Everyone who wears the red and yellow uniform is an ambassador for the movement, and our 21,000 active patrolling members are a credit to their clubs and families,” said John Restuccia.

“Winter is a great time for our volunteers to enjoy some well-deserved time off, but as is always the way our clubs and branches will be putting in place plans for next season with many opportunities for our members to upskill being offered over the coming months.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Surf Life Saving NSW, I would like to thank everyone for their efforts throughout the year,” Mr Restuccia said.

Lifesaving Manager Andy Kent agreed.

“The 2015/16 season has been a successful but busy season for our members who have coped with a variety of challenges.

“I hope everyone uses the opportunity to recharge over the winter break and for those involved with our callout teams, we thank you for your ongoing efforts. Our Emergency Response network plays an integral part in keeping the public safe even when there are no patrols on the beach.”

Unfortunately there have been 43 coastal drownings so far this financial year, which is significantly higher than the last few years.

This can be attributed to a variety of factors including a doubling of diving-related incidents, but overall the highest incidence of drowning involves those who get into difficulty while swimming with males still being overwhelmingly represented.

The majority of these fatalities occurred outside regular patrol times at beaches where there were no lifesavers present. Surf Life Saving NSW will continue to push vital safety messages to the public throughout the year with a particular emphasis on the dangers of swimming at an unpatrolled beach.

2015/16 Season Stats:



First Aid


Preventative Actions


Beach Attendance


• Please note statistics are interim as at Wednesday 27 April 2016 and are expected to rise. Final data from the 2015/16 season will be published in the Surf Life Saving NSW Annual Report.

To Read the full message from the SLSNSW Board of Directors please Click Here

Thu 28 Apr 2016