Lifeguards, Media Release, Members, Safety

Lifesavers plead with beachgoers: Help us, help you

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Surf Life Saving Queensland increases advertising across Queensland after two drownings this summer

In the wake of losing two young men in the first week of summer, Surf Life Saving Queensland has increased their advertising spend just weeks out from Christmas. The 2021/22 campaign “She’ll be right, won’t save your life” features the Brisbane Heat and aims to educate young men on the dangers of swimming at night and swimming after consuming alcohol.

With borders opening to national hotspots earlier this week and thousands of visitors expected to cross state lines, lifeguards and lifesavers across Queensland are anticipating, and already experiencing, a busy summer on Queensland beaches.

In light of the two tragedies and expected visitation boom, Surf Life Saving Queensland has not only invested in more advertising spend, but also in additional services across the coastline aimed at protecting and also informing beachgoers.

The organisation’s services already span further than lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach, with WaveRunner jetskis and Inflatable Rescue Boats located at every patrolled beach. The service also includes ‘eyes in the sky’ through the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Services on the Gold and Sunshine Coast, as well as shark-spotting Little Ripper Lifesaver drones. ‘Surf Crew’ community awareness teams also offer free education to beachgoers on surf safety across the coastline.

This summer Surf Life Saving Queensland will also be introducing additional holiday services including extended patrol hours state-wide, Dawn and Dusk Patrols on Gold Coast beaches, additional lifeguard services at various locations, including Broadwater Parklands and Tallebudgera Creek, as well as flying drones at seven Queensland beaches as part of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ SharkSmart program.

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s General Manager – Lifesaving and Community Peta Lawlor said it had been a devastating start to summer.

“Losing two young men in one week has been a devastating start to our summer and our thoughts are with their loved ones,” she said.

“Our lifesavers are deeply impacted when they are involved in search and rescue missions like this.

“That’s why this summer we are reminding beachgoers that ‘she’ll be right, won’t save your life.’

“Australians are so familiar with the beach and believe we are safe and understand the beach, but sadly the statistics demonstrate that we don’t.

“80% of last year’s drownings were Australian residents, most of them men under the age of 50.

“This summer we are doing everything we can to protect beachgoers with a number of additional services added in time for the Christmas holidays.

“However, despite our available resources there are scenarios where it is difficult for our teams to rescue someone.

“Please do not swim at night or after having a few drinks. Help us, help you by remembering that ‘she’ll be right, won’t save your life.’”

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