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Preparing for the close of lifeguard season

Media Statement 12 April 2006
For immediate use

Surf Life Saving and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter prepare for the close of lifeguard season

This weekend marks the end of lifeguard season so today Surf Life Saving and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter held a training day at Muriwai Beach to prepare rescue strategies and practice surf rescue exercises for the upcoming winter months.

“Although the summer season is coming to a close – the rescue season is never over” says Westpac Rescue Helicopter Manger Greg Brownson.

“People enjoy outdoor sports such as rock fishing and surfing all year round and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter works closely with Surf Life Saving to ensure all scenarios are covered for surf rescues”.

Advanced Lifeguards from Surf Life Saving Northern Region took the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Crew and Paramedics through special training to practice the skills needed in surf rescues. The training included, surf swimming, tube rescues, deep-water resuscitation, safe rock swimming, Jet Ski training, inflatable rescue boat training, identifying surf hazards, helicopter jumps and static line rescues.

Mr Brownson says it is important for both Westpac Rescue and Surf Life Saving to understand fully how each operation works and to reinforce the best practice way of doing things in rescue situations. It also helps for each service to review equipment and procedures and make suggestions on any improvements that can be made.

“The more training we do together the better we are equipped to deal with these situations in real life. It becomes second nature and it’s integral that both services act as one team”, says Mr Brownson.

Dean Storey, Surf Life Saving Development Manager, agrees.

“We’ve had a bad year for rock fishing incidents and both Surf Lifesaving and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter work hard together to ensure that our beaches are kept as safe as possible and that both our crews are well prepared for any rescue situation”.


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