Hamish McKendrick is one of our valued volunteers who helped keep Victorian swimmer safe during season 2020-21, spending his summer patrolling the Mornington Peninsula.
A member of Portsea Surf Life Saving Club and LSV’s State Gear and Equipment officer, Hamish can often be seen in the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) and the Rescue Water Craft (RWC or jet ski) which are some of the most iconic pieces of lifesaving equipment.
As the fastest pieces of rescue equipment on patrol, Hamish’s role on the water is crucial to accessing patients quickly in rough surf conditions and performing surveillance and monitoring conditions.
“We were incredibly busy performing 63 rescues across Mornington Peninsula beaches,” Hamish said.
“Our current figures show around 22,000 preventative actions were taken by lifeguards and lifesavers at beaches across the Mornington Peninsula. That’s 22,000 people who may have had a very different outcome if we weren’t there.”
In addition to keeping swimmers safe at his home beach of Portsea, Hamish also patrolled the wider Mornington Peninsula area on the Peninsula RWC this summer.
“The jet skis were vital to us outside of static patrol areas, they serviced the whole Peninsula and allowed us to reach people quickly if they got into distress in more remote areas.
“They’re equipped to help people who are in very serious situations, we carry a defibrillator, first aid kits, a rescue sled, and of course qualified lifesavers.”
Hamish said the Mornington Peninsula’s unusual geographical features can be a challenging part of the role but provide swimmers with options suited to their abilities on the day.
“The Mornington Peninsula is a unique environment in that you have ‘calmer’ front beaches and the bigger swells on the back beaches within proximity,” he explained.
“People have to make the safest choice in where they want to go for a swim or surf based on their ability and the conditions on the day.
“Always check the conditions at beachsafe.org before you head out, but no matter which beach you’re at, never relax your vigilance around water.”
Thank you Hamish for everything you do to keep people safe as they enjoy our beautiful Victorian waterways.
This month, we will be celebrating the achievements of our amazing volunteer members at our Valuing Volunteers Evening, which will be held on Friday 21 May, during National Volunteers Week.
If you know a member like Hamish who goes above and beyond in their volunteer role, you can nominate them for one of our Club Service awards here. Nominations close midnight, Sunday 9 May.