There’s just one month left of summer and yet surf lifesavers have already achieved record rescue numbers on our beaches, reaffirming the value of the movement as it continues to produce highly skilled volunteers to patrol our coastline.

Since December 1, lifesavers have been responsible for 2,322 rescues across NSW. To put this number into context, for the entire financial year July 1 2021 to June 30 2022, inclusive, 4,257 total rescues were made.

It’s a volume that highlights the dedication and ability of Surf Life Saving NSW members, and illustrates just how busy the summer has proved to be.

Sydney Branch has proven the busiest over the period, with 753 rescues performed since summer began. Central Coast Branch has also seen significant numbers of holiday makers enjoying the coastline and has made 439 rescues over the past two months.

The Emergency Response Beacons placed at more than 20 locations along the coast have also been well utilised, with 18 activations leading to six significant rescues, preventing two near drownings, and providing multiple welfare checks to areas of concern.

SLSNSW President, George Shales OAM said he is constantly blown away by the dedication of the organisation’s volunteer membership.

“I am very proud of each and every one of our more than 76,000 members statewide for their actions during the summer so far,” he said.

“Every volunteer has a role to play in the lifesaving activity our organisation plays. What we’ve seen over this summer is record numbers of rescues, which in turn is a result of great determination, dedication and a true reflection of how our movement makes a telling impact.”

Sadly and despite the best efforts of lifesavers across the state, 15 people have drowned since 1 December in NSW, all at unpatrolled locations.


FNC – 131

NC – 27

MNC – 73

LNC – 32

HUN – 68

CC – 439

SNB – 261

SYD – 753

ILL – 271

SC – 114

FSC – 153

Friday 3 February 2023