Volunteer lifesavers from Far North Coast clubs have given the gift of life to the people of Phuket in a recent visit to educate the community and deliver donated surf rescue equipment.
In late April volunteers from clubs including Cudgen, Salt, Cabarita, Fingal and Ballina completed another successful training tour to Thailand where they conducted lifesaving skills and CPR training for around 50 locals.
In addition, they delivered a container load of rescue equipment generously donated by NSW clubs, including boards, rescue tubes and children’s buoyancy vests.
Cudgen Headland SLSC has had a sister relationship with the Phuket Lifeguard Club (PLC) for 20 years and has been donating used equipment and training locals in lifesaving techniques ever since.
This year a vital piece of the puzzle fell into place when the Royal Australian Navy offered to transport the donated rescue equipment aboard HMAS Canberra where it was delivered to the Phuket Lifeguard Club.
Patron of the Lifeguard club and the Cudgen Headland Chief Training Officer Susan Eke said they were extremely grateful for the assistance of the Navy.
"Some of the vests will also be donated to local government for use during floods in Phuket and neighbouring provinces.
"Providing flotation devices coupled with survival swimming is one way water safety can be improved in these rural areas," Ms Eke said.
The first two days of the visit were spent with the team re-certifying the community volunteer lifeguards and tourist police. The third day was the culmination of the activities which included 170 local children participating in water safety activities and the arrival of the donated rescue equipment aboard HMAS Canberra.
Joining the team for the handover of the equipment was the Australian Ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon, the Mayor of Patong, the Governor of Phuket and the Director of the Thai Ministry of Education.
The training team from the Far North Coast consisted of David Field, founder and patron of PLC; Susan Eke, CTO of Cudgen Headland SLSC and Patron of PLC. Michael Kenny, CTO of Fingal Rovers SLSC; Elton Cummings, (assessor), Ballina Lighthouse & Lismore SLSC; Kyle Beattie, Director of Lifesaving and powercraft content expert, Cabarita; Vilia Hendry, lifesaver Fingal Rovers SLSC.
David Field and the team from the Far North Coast also conduct vital water safety education, lifesaving training and Nippers programs in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Friday 7 June 2019