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Surf Life Saving NSW wishes to thank its active volunteer patrol force of more than 20,000 statewide, as well as their Australian Lifeguard Service counterparts, as another testing season comes to an end.

Flags were lowered across NSW on Sunday 28 April, having first gone up during the September school holidays in 2023.

During those seven months, volunteer lifesavers and ALS lifeguards completed more than 4,600 rescues, made over 1 million preventative actions on our beaches, and delivered almost 20,000 first aids – a monumental effort, with figures likely to increase as more clubs complete the final logs of their season.

“In NSW we are very lucky to have more than 78,000 volunteer members in total, and I am extremely proud and grateful to every single one of them for their contributions throughout the patrol season,” SLSNSW President, Peter Agnew ESM said.

“Beyond our 20,000-plus active patrolling members who keep our beaches safe each week, every volunteer has a role to play in the lifesaving functions and community support that our surf clubs deliver year round.

“The rescue figures to date are on track to surpass those recorded last year, which demonstrates the critical role that Surf Life Saving performs and the great determination and dedication shown by our members to protect their communities.”

Sadly, and despite the best efforts of lifesaving personnel across the state, 43 people have drowned since 1 July 2023 in NSW coastal waters, all at unpatrolled locations or outside of patrol hours.

During the 2023/24 season, lifesavers saw the early impact of the NSW Government’s $23 million increased commitment to Surf Life Saving in NSW – since July, the funding has assisted in the roll out of new Support Operations vehicles and jetskis for all 11 branches statewide.

This has aided the lifesaving efforts of our volunteers and contributed significantly to the figures behind another bumper season.

Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib moved to thank lifesavers and recognise the impact the organisation has had, helping people on our coastline.

“I would like to thank our volunteers who give up their time to protect our coastline and allow visitors to enjoy a day at the beach knowing that help is at hand if they need it,” Minister Dib said.

“We have had a busy season on our beaches and the large number of rescues shows how important the work of lifesavers is helping swimmers when they find themselves in difficulty.

“From Tweed Heads to Eden our beautiful beaches are patrolled by committed surf lifesavers and we are proud to support them in their work protecting their local communities.”

Monday 29 April 2024