Local surf lifesavers have increased capability to keep beachgoers safe this summer as local members recently participated in an intensive 6-day jet ski course delivered by Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA).
Over 6 days, from 29 September – 4 October, participants from Busselton, City of Bunbury and Dalyellup Beach Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC), carried out 30 hours of training on the water in large surf, choppy and windy conditions to become qualified members of their clubs Wesfarmers Lifesaver Jet Ski Teams.
SLSWA Trainer and Assessor, Daniel Andrew said the course was developed to train jet ski operators to an exceptionally high standard in an accelerated timeframe as these courses are usually drawn out over a number of weekends.
“The benefit of running the course over the shorter timeframe meant that SLSWA were able to increase the capability of local surf life saving clubs in the South West Region in time for the anticipated busier than usual summer period in the region,” said Mr Andrews.
“The local clubs now have the capability to respond rapidly to incidents that may occur in their patrolling areas and are now well equipped with some of the most advanced lifesaving skills.”
Darren Maisey, President of Busselton SLSC, participated in the course and found it reinforced the importance of teamwork and communication skills to surf lifesavers.
“As jet ski operators we need to be able to make our intentions clear to crew mates and other supporting personnel, and then have the situational awareness and operating skills to act quickly and decisively,” said Mr Maisey.
The course was run across variations locations in the south west, including: Bunbury, Busselton, Smiths Beach, Canal Rocks and Bunker Bay.
Utilising a range of locations for these types of courses prepares jet ski teams to be ready to handle any conditions they may encounter in their patrolling duties.
Mr Maisey said it was great to be exposed to the various surf conditions as they can be quite challenging in their region, which made the group recognise their own limitations.
“These skills are instrumental to the services our club provide to the local community and visitors to our wonderful coastline,” he said.
As part of building the capabilities of these teams, two new trainers from Margaret River and Albany SLSC’s were also qualified, providing a local hub to continue training and upskilling of local surf club members.
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