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Life Savers Back on Duty

published  First Published: 01/10/2009
Article written by: News Editor: Nigel Brookson
From Saturday, about 17,000  Surf Life Saving (SLS) volunteers will patrol more than 1,590 kilometres of the state's coastline, as the swimming season gets underway.
 
The NSW government will mark the occasion by handing over $2 million for local clubs.
 
Sport and Recreation Minister Kevin Greene is to announce the funding at Coogee beach on Friday at a Raising the Flags ceremony.
 
"The contribution made by volunteer organisations like Surf Life Saving NSW is huge and every year thousands of lives are saved by this committed force of volunteers," Mr Greene said.
 
Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) issued a warning to swimmers to take extra care this summer, after the number of drownings in NSW hit a 10-year high last year.
 
In 2008/2009, 46 people drowned in NSW, compared with 33 in 2007/2008.
 
Of those 46, 45 were men, SLSNSW spokeswoman Donna Wishart said.
 
"The message doesn't seem to be getting through that it's dangerous not to swim between the flags. Young men in particular don't seem to understand the dangers and overestimate their ability."
 
"Our aim is to get zero drownings - that is our mission of the organisation."
Last year, surf lifesavers in NSW performed 5,591 rescues, administered 11,483 first aid treatments, and spent 581,548 hours on patrol.
 
 
This is also a timely warning to the thousands of tourists that visit our beaches, that the 'rips' and currents are dangerous, and not easily spotted by the un educated, not to mention the yearly occurance of sharks along the metropolitan beaches, so swimming in between the flags, and when life savers are on patrol could prevent a needless tragedy.
 

 

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