Would you give up your Christmas Day to keep others safe?
For most of us, Christmas is a time to celebrate, enjoy great food, and be with good friends and family. And a big part of the Christmas festivities is spent enjoying our beautiful beaches.
Hundreds of volunteer Surf Life Savers give up time with their loved ones on Christmas Day to patrol our beaches on one of the busiest days of the year. Nathan, from Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club knows just how true this is:
“We see a spike in attendance at our beaches especially around Christmas time with beachgoers on holidays – it’s generally the time they arrive on the Gold Coast and that’s where the rescues start coming in.”
Johanna, from North Kirra Surf Life Saving Club has also shared patrols with her family on Christmas Day:
“About six years ago, our family decided to do the Christmas patrols because all of us are volunteer Surf Life Savers. Hundreds of people come down to the beach on Christmas Day alone. Even though everyone is usually really friendly and responsible, it’s still a lot of people to look out for!”
As you head out into the waves this summer
If something does go wrong, volunteer Surf Life Savers like the Johanna and Nathan are there, with the training and equipment – ready to save lives. And, they all have the training and the confidence to save lives. Johanna explains:
“What gives me peace of mind is that because of the training that we do, I know that if we do get into a serious rescue situation, we are ready to go.”
Over 70% of what it costs to keep Surf Life Saving going across Australia comes from the community. Surf Life Saving supporters are a vital part of each and every rescue. They ensure our volunteers have the lifesaving equipment and vital training they need to save lives at a moment’s notice, all year-round. Nathan shares:
“Three weeks before Christmas and right through until after the New Year, every week beaches are packed; every public holiday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Busy!”
What does it cost to keep you and your loved ones safe at the beach?
There isn’t a single day of the busy summer season that Life Savers aren’t needed on our beaches - Christmas Day is no different. It costs a minimum of $81,000 just to set up one patrol for one beach. And it’s not just about having the right gear – it’s about giving volunteers vital training to be able to save lives without a moment’s hesitation.
Nathan: “Volunteer Surf Life Saver patrols are rostered through the summer months but Christmas day is an exception. At Christmas, you’ll see us patrolling the beaches because we have chosen to give up time with our families to keep watch over yours.”
It’s so important our volunteers are fully prepared with updated equipment that may need to be repaired or replaced due to the harsh summer and beach conditions, ready for whatever challenges might face them this busy Christmas season.
This holiday season, make sure you are beach SMART
Being beach safe is about understanding and recognising the potential dangers, learning how to avoid them and knowing what to do if you find yourself in trouble.
Swim between the flags
Move into or bring your own shade
Avoid over exposure to the sun
Remember to wear sunscreen
Take a shirt, hat and sunnies to wear