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The Tweed’s beaches are one of the great natural assets for the region, but recent tragedies that have resulted in at least three coastal drownings have cast a shadow over this beautiful coastline in recent years.

Last Sunday, almost 40 members of the local community attended an information session called the “First on scene first aid in an aquatic environment” course at Fingal Rovers SLSC where water and beach safety was firmly on the agenda.

This community initiative supported by both the NSW Government and Surf Life Saving NSW is one of a handful of strategies to give members of the community an insight into the ways they can contribute to helping keep beach visitors safe.

With an emphasis on a message that anyone, anywhere could be a lifesaver, the focus of the program was to help train people in immediate first aid basics if they were to be first on-scene.

It was also an opportunity to inform the community about the role of volunteer surf lifesavers and introduce the attendees to the facilities of the club.

Other topics covered throughout the session included how to perform basic CPR, use a defibrillator, assess a situation, and how to communicate details of an incident to emergency responders.

It wasn’t just about first aid on the beach though with the participants also given an introduction to the management of common injuries including fractures, sprains, and burns.

Additionally a video on the best way to treat asthma and anaphylaxis was also played as many patients now present with these symptoms, and quick recognition and correct intervention is crucial in these situations.

“It was a highly worthwhile day and helped us deliver on our goal of making the community more aware of the type of work we do on the beach and how they can assist us in an emergency,” said Andrew Chubb, one of the club trainers involved in delivering the information session.

“The feedback we have been getting from the locals has been positive with many of the participants remarking on the fact that they now feel more confident in volunteering their assistance to surf lifesavers, and some have expressed interest in signing up for the full first aid course.

“From a club perspective it was fantastic for us to showcase the almost complete club house to the local community and to highlight the gear and equipment we are now working with,” Mr Chubb said.

The course was delivered by professional and experienced trainers from the Australian Lifesaving Academy.

General Beach Safety Tips

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website

  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information

  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water

  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm

  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police

  • Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated.

  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App

Wednesday 27 June 2018