As part of the Play it Safe by the Water campaign, Surfing Victoria was funded to run a series of Surfer Rescue 24/7 sessions, upskilling surfers on how to perform rescues and CPR when called upon as first responders to incidents on the beach or out in the water.
“It’s fantastic that we are able to run this important program in Victoria, where we have many unpatrolled beaches, particularly during cooler months,” says Adam Robertson, Surfing Victoria CEO.
“Surfers are at the beach 365 days a year regardless of the weather, so giving them the skills to perform CPR and board rescues may one day help save the life of another surfer, or even a swimmer.”
The sessions were run free for recreational surfers in Victoria and will be rolled out all over the state via boardrider clubs and surf schools to provide board rescue techniques that may be crucial in emergency situations. The techniques are tailored to surfers, who are taught how to use surfboards as rescue tools.
Surfers of all skill levels can go to surfingvic.com to register for a course. If a surfer is involved in a rescue, they can also go to the website and log the rescue details to share the story, with the chance to win great prizes.
As part of the Play it Safe by the Water funding, evaluation of the campaign was undertaken by LSV’s Aquatic Risk and Research department, who found the main safety message remembered by the participants of the Surfer Rescue 24/7 program (71%) was around CPR, resuscitation and the DRSABCD emergency action plan.
“We found that 48% of those attending the sessions would do things differently in an emergency procedure following the course,” says Grace Strugnell, LSV Aquatic Risk and Research Project Officer. “Learning the board rescue techniques and refreshing CPR skills was highlighted by participants as giving them more confidence in case of future emergency incident response.”
Play it Safe by the Water is a state government-funded campaign with 19 aquatic industry partners on the committee, including Life Saving Victoria, Surfing Victoria, YMCA, Australian Sailing and AustSwim. The campaign has been running for twenty years.
For more information on the program, please click here