WRAPPED UP: Lifeguarding Services Australia lifeguards wrap-up for the season. Pictured are (back) Indiana Kelly, Jaykie Bull, Jenna Thorn, Tom Pritchard, Harrison Smith, Bernard Robben, (front) lifeguard manager Anthony Kelly and chief lifeguard Stan Wall.Almost 60 rescues, 3000 preventions, nine animal rescues, one police action and three ambulance calls is how lifeguards summed up this summer’s patrols.
Lifeguarding Services Australia finished up its contracted patrols last weekend in what was its first season of a three-year contract with Eurobodalla Shire Council.
Chief executive officer Stan Wall said his lifeguards rescued 58 people across seven beaches during their six weeks on patrol.
“We had people caught in rips and a couple of undertows, when you get big swells and large amounts of water… which starts to pull you under,” he said.
“And almost half of those people weren’t swimming between the flags.”
Lifeguards were also forced to close Broulee Beach and call police after a group of teenage surfers refused to surf outside the red and yellow flags last month.
“A lifeguard paddled out and spent an hour trying to remove the surfers,” he said.
“They refused, so the flags were pulled down. Police came down and moved them along and made sure they were aware of the risk to public safety.”
He said the teens were visitors to the area and incidents with disrespectful surfers were unusual.
“It’s pretty rare. I’ve been doing this for 26 years and I think it’s probably occurred four to five times.”
He said lifeguards also took 3000 preventative actions, including telling people to move between flags and moving surfers along.
“The idea is you want to get as minimum rescues as possible and as maximum preventions as possible,” Mr Wall said.
Lifeguards also helped five injured penguins that washed up at Broulee and Surf Beach, some seagulls and other injured water birds at Dalmeny.
He also said they called an ambulance three times for a swimmer with chest pain, a surfer who had a deep cut on the back of his head and a suspected spinal injury, and after a rescue in Dalmeny for precautionary measures.
Lifeguards helped out in 80 first aid cases, including bluebottle stings and grazes.
It was a successful season, according to Mr Wall.
“We were busy. Unfortunately for lifeguards, everyone thinks it’s a cruisy job but you get bad weather, big crowds, and lots of stuff happens.
“The guys enjoyed themselves, and they’ve all indicated they’re coming back.
“Council was great, we got along really well with the surf clubs and it was a really good season.”
Out of 22 lifeguards rostered to patrol the beaches, Mr Wall said 20 were local.
The service also hopes to increase its number to 30 next year.
“We’ll have the same number of people on the beaches, but it makes it easier with rostering,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.