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Surf Lifesavers now have even greater capacity to save lives with the handover of new support vehicles and Rescue Water Craft (jetskis) through enhanced rescue funding provided by the NSW Government.

The fully equipped support vehicles and jetskis are being rolled out to all 11 Surf Life Saving Branches in NSW and will boost the response capability of the state’s volunteer lifesavers and callout teams this summer.

Surf Life Saving NSW is increasingly expanding its services beyond just beach patrols during the summer season with volunteers called on to respond to incidents including searching for missing swimmers, rockfishers in trouble and watercraft users in distress on a 24/7 basis.

The new equipment, unveiled today at Sydney's Wanda Beach today, forms part of a $16M funding package for Surf Life Saving NSW which will enhance the capability and support volunteers over the next four years.

“We recognise the contribution surf lifesavers make to protecting and saving lives along our coastline and we are pleased to be able to support the organisation with fit for purpose rescue equipment,” said Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott.

Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott.

The support operations vehicles are fully kitted out to assist Surf Life Saving Duty Officers respond quickly and effectively to callouts and incidents along with coast. Advanced oxygen resuscitation and first aid kits are standard, along with off-road equipment for beach and remote area access.

Warning lighting is fixed to the vehicles to be used to signal the presence of Surf Life Saving assets at coastal emergencies and PA equipment including a shark alarm are also fitted.

The support vehicles and jetskis are fitted with GPS tracking to ensure the safety of volunteers who are often working in remote locations on their own or with just one other person.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce says the new rescue equipment rolling out will better support and enhance the safety of frontline volunteers.

“Our members are often called out to serious emergencies along the coast and now they will have the support of dedicated rescue-ready gear to respond to incidents out of hours and in tricky situations,” said Steve Pearce.

“The safety of our members is our first priority so the addition of GPS tracking on jetskis and warning lighting on vehicles will help ensure volunteers have a greater level of protection when responding to high risk incidents.”

Surf Life Saving Duty Officers and Support Operations teams are also being kitted out with personal protective equipment including uniforms, wetsuits, lifejackets and helmets to ensure their safety when responding to coastal emergencies this summer.

"Until now these volunteers have had to provide their own gear so this will make a big difference, particularly to our smaller branches and clubs operating in more remote areas of the state," said Steve Pearce.


Tuesday 10 September 2019