Media Release, Safety

Volunteer surf lifesavers save more than 950 lives this patrol season

Friday, 30 April 2021

Since the September school holidays and start of May, more than 340,000 hours had been dedicated by volunteers to protecting the lives of beachgoers. 

During this time, the red and yellow army performed 59,451 preventative actions to proactively safeguard swimmers, and applied a staggering 7,051 first aid treatments. 

Surf lifesavers will patrol beaches one last time this long weekend, before Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) 2020/21 patrol season officially ends on Monday, 3 May. 

SLSQ Lifesaving Services Manager Peta Lawlor said it had been an extremely busy season across Queensland beaches.

“Our lifesavers have done a remarkable job over the past nine months keeping beachgoers safe,” she said.

“With COVID-19 restrictions impacting travel internationally and interstate, we have seen large crowds right across the coastline as people holiday closer to home. 

“A combination of large crowds and hazardous conditions resulted in more than 950 lives being saved this season, an increase of 27 per cent compared to last year.”

The most common demographic rescued were males between 25 to 35 years old, accounting for 176 rescues performed this season. 

Ms Lawlor urged beachgoers to put their safety first this long weekend.

“Concerningly, more than 80% of rescues conducted across the state have been performed outside flagged areas,” she said.

“We ask beachgoers to make the effort to head to their nearest patrolled beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.

“Not only do the red and yellow flags identify the safest spot to swim, it also means should you need assistance lifesavers will be able to immediately respond to you.”

Lifeguard services will continue to patrol Queensland beaches throughout the cooler months to ensure beachgoers safety. 

Please note: Statistics are for volunteer services only from Forrest Beach to Rainbow Bay for the following time period: 19 September 2020 -26 April 2021

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