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Volunteer surf lifesavers charged with protecting the coastline in Sydney’s Royal National Park have been presented with new satellite communication equipment to save lives this summer.

As part of their patrols each season, volunteers from Garie, Burning Palms, and Era Surf Life Saving Clubs often respond to emergency incidents across the Royal National Park which incorporates the famous Figure 8 Rock Pools.

The park itself is a tourist attraction in its own right with thousands flocking to enjoy the area each summer.

Some of the incidents that surf lifesavers respond to include rescues, falls, medical episodes, and earlier this year a bushfire emergency that required the use of the clubs as evacuation points.

An ongoing challenge is that due to the geographical isolation of the area, radio and mobile coverage is extremely limited.

Reliable communication is essential for first responders in emergency situations and huge strides were made toward achieving that goal today.

Heathcote MP Mr Lee Evans has long been a supporter of the work that Surf Lifesavers do in his electorate and with support from Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and Disability Services, funding was secured to purchase new equipment.

This summer Garie, Burning Palms and Era Surf Life Saving Clubs will have the use of satellite phones and new digital radio gear which will help ease the communication issues.

Speaking at Garie Beach on Wednesday, the Minister said the phones will prove their worth in emergency situations.

He added it was important to engage with visitors to the area, including the many multicultural communities, about beach safety and drowning prevention.

 “We know there are many incidents Surf Life Saving Clubs respond to during patrol season involving people who speak a language other than English,” Mr Williams said.

 “These satellite phones will ensure first responders can reach medical and emergency services to support all members of our community to enjoy the beach safely.”

Lee Evans added: “Surf Life Saving Clubs have a long and proud history in the Heathcote Electorate with the involvement of local families over many years. The use of satellite phones will assist volunteers in their vital community service.”

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce welcomed the Government funding for lifesaving technology.

“Having access to reliable communication is essential for our three surf clubs stationed within the park to perform their duties.

“Our volunteers are preparing for a busy summer and these phones and digital radios will provide a boost to their capability, and we are grateful for the local Member and the Minister’s help in securing funding for this lifesaving equipment,” Mr Pearce concluded.

Minister The Hon Ray Williams MP, Lee Evans MP, and SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce are joined by Garie, Era and Burning Palms SLSC representatives on Wednesday 31 October 2018

Wednesday 31 October 2018