Beach safety was the topic of discussion at the Prime Minister’s sausage sizzle at Parliament House, attended by surf lifesavers and members of parliament yesterday.
Marking the start of summer, the Prime Minister acknowledged Surf Life Saving Australia members for their dedication to saving lives and their commitment to local communities.
“Every year around 180,000 people from around Australia give up 1.3 million hours to keep watch over our beaches,” Mr Morrison said.
“I want to say thank you very much, for everyone across the surf lifesaving movement… you keep Australians safe and you do it as one of the most wonderful traditions of our country through the surf lifesaving movement,” he said.
There were 122 coastal drowning deaths recorded last season. This season’s first quarter preliminary data has that number eight more than the same time last year. This is 11 above the 15-year average.
Lifesavers were awarded Surf Life Australia’s National Rescue Medal (NRM) for outstanding rescues performed between July-October.
This included Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club members Robin Smith, Taylah Kouvaras and Abigail Green.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien had the honour of presenting the National Rescue Medal to Smith.
“Surf Life Saving is such an important part of our identity on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr O’Brien said.
“From the young nippers on our beaches learning water safety, to the volunteers in iconic red and yellow who give up their weekends to keep the rest of us safe.
“As a community, it is also incredibly reassuring to know, walking amongst us are people the calibre of Robin, Taylah and Abigail who each possess the skills, mindset and commitment to save a life.
“Congratulations to Maroochydore SLSC and thank you to all our surf life savers.”
About the rescue
On Sunday 27 October 2019, Robin Smith, Taylah Kouvaras and Abigail Green were out on a roving patrol when they spotted a motionless person on the edge of the Maroochy River. The surf lifesavers assessed that the victim was not breathing and quickly moved them away from the river and commenced CPR.
After several cycles of CPR, a defibrillator was attached to the victim and delivered shocks. As no pulse was detected, CPR continued until the ambulance arrived. The surf lifesavers assisted moving the victim onto a spinal board to transport the victim to where the ambulance was located.
Without the initiative of the roving patrol and the coordinated efforts of the surf lifesavers, the outcome of this incident may have been different.
The event also saw SLSA’s rip current campaign ‘Think Line’ relaunched for summer. ‘Think Line’ encourages swimmers to draw a line in the sand, to STOP, LOOK and PLAN, before entering the beach.
Listen to Ted’s speech in Parliament of 2 December 2019: