Last summer more than 570 lives were saved on WA beaches by volunteer surf life savers and now they are asking for a helping hand of their own.
Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) 2016 BeachSAFE Appeal kicks off on Monday 21 November, raising vital funds to support Western Australia’s 30 Surf Life Saving Clubs, more than 5,000 patrolling volunteer lifesavers and nearly 20,000 supporting members.
With all monies raised invested back into the Clubs and delivery of frontline services, SLSWA CEO James O’Toole urged the Western Australian community to dig deep to help support this essential community service.
In 2015/16 volunteer surf life savers performed in excess of 107, 500 volunteer patrol hours, administered first aid to 5,055 beach goers and performed 17,448 preventative actions – removing people from potentially dangerous situations.
Every time someone visits a beach, they are using the services provided by these clubs and volunteers.
“Visiting and using the beaches and the lifesaving services are free, but ensuring our volunteers have the correct equipment and training is the financial burden, and this is where we are asking for the community’s help,” Mr O’Toole said.
The true value of what our volunteers provide for the community was recently recognised when abalone season opened on Sunday 6 November. Patrol teams conducted 54 rescues and 292 preventative actions within the one-hour fishing window.
Our volunteers risk their own life to keep beachgoers safe and it’s time to show our appreciation.
This year’s appeal will see a range of activities taking place, including the annual street collection on Friday 2 December when thousands of volunteers will head to the streets throughout Perth shaking their donation tins.
This will coincide with the return of the popular Boardies Day, where SLSWA is calling on businesses, schools and communities to get involved by wearing their favourite board shorts or beach apparel to school or work for a gold coin donation on the day.
People can also donate online at www.beachsafeappeal.com.au or by texting “lifesaver’ to 0437 371 371.
“Every dollar donated helps us support our volunteers in continuing their life saving work,” Mr O’Toole said..
“This summer we are drawing a line in the sand, with the aim of zero preventable drowning deaths on WA beaches; but we can only do this with the community’s help. You can be a lifesaver by donating during the appeal.”