Lifesavers & Lifeguards

There is a difference between a lifesaver and a lifeguard.

Lifesavers are men and women who, through an affiliated SLSQ community-based club, volunteer their time to patrol Queensland beaches and waterways on weekends during the season.

Lifeguards are paid professionals who patrol beaches all year round.

They both have the same aim: zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters.

Every patrol they will assess the surf conditions before raising the red and yellow flags in a safe swimming area for members of the general public.


Surf Life Saving Queensland has more than 7,000 active lifesavers who patrol beaches across 8,000km of coastline in Queensland.

All qualified surf lifesavers wear the internationally recognised red and yellow patrol uniform and can be identified by wearing the red and yellow quartered cap, long sleeved yellow shirt, red shorts, swimming costume, and hat.

The red and yellow cap is an internationally recognised safety symbol and is proudly worn by surf lifesavers so they are easily identified by the public, particularly when they are performing patrol duties in the water. The cap is also worn by lifesavers for their own safety so they can easily be identified by fellow lifesavers.

All surf lifesavers hold the minimum requirement of a Bronze Medallion. The Bronze Medallion teaches a range of activities in order to be able to perform all the basic requirements of a lifesaver including:

  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Surf awareness and skills
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • First aid
  • Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Communications
  • Radio communications
  • Rescue techniques
  • Carries and Support
  • Patrol methods
  • Rescue Equipment

Surf lifesaving personnel utilise a wide variety of equipment to assist in patrolling the beaches of Queensland. Rescue equipment comes in many different forms which are designed to accommodate difficult surf environments, and its many hazards. These consist of:

  • Rescue tube
  • Rescue board
  • First aid / medical equipment
  • Defibrillator
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Inflatable rescue boat (IRB)
  • Rescue water craft (jetskis)
  • All-terrain vehicles (ATV)
  • Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service
  • 4WD vehicles
  • Communications system and equipment
  • Beach Patrols


Saving lives and is committed to the provision of a proactive service on the beaches and within the community. As the lifeguard arm of SLSQ we provide professional lifeguard services to local governments, land managers and resorts.

SLSQ employs 51 permanent, 298 casual and nine part time lifeguards across 82 individual services in Queensland.

The professional development of ALS lifeguards continues to further develop with senior lifeguards completing Advanced First Aid, Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue and Certificate III in Public Safety Courses. ALS Queensland lifeguards also continued to provide first aid at the State and Australian Surf Life Saving Championships each year.



SeaLink is a proud sponsor of Surf Life Saving Queensland, providing return vehicle ferry and passenger ferry transfers for SLSQ Lifeguards to Stradbroke Island.

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