Students at Alkimos Beach Primary School held onto their hats last week as they prepared for a beach safety lesson with a difference, welcoming Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter to the Leatherback Oval at Alkimos Beach.
The SLSWA crew presented to students about the important role of the helicopter in keeping beachgoers safe including how to look out for rips, swimmers, sharks or people in distress, as well as sharing some important beach safety tips. The students were treated to a close-up look at the helicopter.
The visit was part of the BeachSAFE community initiative at Alkimos Beach. Since its establishment in 2015, the BeachSAFE partnership with SLSWA has enabled more than 7,500 residents to participate in a range of accredited First Aid courses and school and community beach safety programs.
“As a first, and as far as I am aware, the BeachSAFE community is the only initiative of its kind in Australia”, said Surf Life Saving WA General Manager Chris Peck.
The BeachSAFE program is based on four key principles of beach safety; Supervision, Aquatic Education, First Aid and Emergency Preparedness. All residents in the City of Wanneroo have access to these programs, and they are free of charge to Alkimos Beach and Alkimos Vista residents.
Many residents already utilise the free BeachSAFE programs, which are valued at up to $200 with programs including SurfBabies, SurfKids, Surf Rescue and Senior First Aid.
“We’ve already seen examples of community members putting their acquired training to use, potentially saving lives in the process”, said Chris Peck.
BeachSAFE is currently being delivered at the beach, in community spaces and also at St James’ Anglican School.
The visit by the helicopter and its crew was organised by Lendlease through its partnership with Surf Life Saving WA. In 2019, Lendlease was awarded a Surf Life Saving WA Meritorious Support Award in recognition of their significant and sustained support towards the delivery, promotion and participation in coastal safety initiatives in Western Australia.
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