Surfers are set to play a key role in water safety this summer with the Surfers Rescue 24/7 Program due to begin in person sessions again from October 24th.
The FREE Board Rescue and CPR program was initially created in New South Wales and has been adapted for Victoria by Surfing Victoria with the help of the Victorian Government and Emergency Management Victoria.
Over 1800 surfers have completed the program since June 2019 meaning an extra 1800 trained surfers ready to assist someone in trouble.
Sessions will begin on October 24th in Torquay and will continue throughout summer across the state.
The most recent Royal Life Saving Australia Drowning Report found that COVID has seen more people seeking out remote places to escape crowds, swimming outside of patrolled hours, taking more day trips to isolated beaches, rivers or lakes and holidaying domestically at unfamiliar locations leading to an increased drowning risk.
In a similar trend, the Surf Life Saving National Coastal Safety Report found that 51% of drowning deaths in 2020/21 occurred more than 5km from a surf lifesaving service, a 6% increase from the 17-year average.
Surfers are in the water from dawn to dusk every day and act as vital first responders in ocean rescues.
It is expected that these trends will continue with a relaxation of COVID restrictions leading into summer, that is why it is important for as many surfers as possible to complete the course and learn how to save a life.
“The Surfers Rescue 24/7 program has taught over 1800 surfers how to perform a rescue and administer CPR making the beaches safer right across Victoria” said Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson. “We are incredibly proud of the program and the impact it is having and encourage all surfers to book in for your nearest session!”
The programs will be held under Surfing Victoria’s COVID19 Risk Management Strategy that will see no sharing of equipment, reduction in class sizes, QR Code Check in and adequate space for social distancing.
Upcoming dates for face-to-face programs include:
27th November 2021 – Warrnambool (9am & 1pm)
28th November 2021 – Port Fairy (9am & 1pm)
4th December 2021 – Mornington Peninsula
5th December 2021 – Torquay
8th December 2021 – Phillip Island
15th December 2021 – Phillip Island
Dates for the Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island, Bass Coast and 2022 dates will be announced in the coming months.
Book via www.surfingvic.com/surfers-rescue-24-7/
Group bookings are encouraged and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who are unable to attend a session, the Surfers Rescue 24/7 Course can also be completed online via www.surfersrescue.training