Surf Life Saving heading to the Bush to Talk Surf Safety
Surf lifesavers from around Queensland will head inland over the next week to visit primary school students as part of the Beach to Bush program, a community initiative from Surf Life Saving Queensland.
The Beach to Bush program is a long-standing innovative surf safety education program in Queensland, this year visiting more than 85 regional primary schools and educating more than 10,000 students in rural communities.
The program provides students with an interactive session that teaches vital surf safety messages, showcases the warning flags and beach signs to look out for when visiting the coastline, identifying basic surf rescue equipment and most importantly, how to raise an alarm when in trouble.
The skills taught by surf lifesavers will focus primarily on beach safety, however there will be skills covered that apply to water safety in general including rivers, dams, creeks, pools and other waterways.
Latest statistics show that more than 700 children aged under 12 years old are rescued annually in Queensland. Providing education for children of this age group who make up nearly a quarter of all rescues is an important preventative measure.
Surf Life Saving Queensland Chief Executive Officer Dave Whimpey said the importance of educating children in all communities about water safety is critical and with the patrolling season about to start, the Beach to Bush program will help to reinforce the importance of surf safety.
“Our Beach to Bush program is an important interaction with regional communities who may not visit the beach as often as those in coastal areas.
“By taking resources to these communities we aim to create lifelong lessons on the significance of being safe around the surf and importantly other bodies of water these children will come across.
“Educating school groups on the dangers of the surf and how quickly conditions can change enforces the best and safest option is to always swim between the flags and follow instructions of lifesavers.
“It is our hope that these kids will be a lifesaver themselves by looking out for their mates and put into practice these lessons around both the surf and bodies of water, saving lives through making the right decisions.”
This year’s Beach to Bush will begin on 31 August and run through to 8 September, with lifesavers travelling up to 400km from the coastline.
Community groups interested in future programs can express interest at firstname.lastname@example.org