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Donation helps keep lifesavers afloat

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) annual SOS Week fundraising appeal has received a timely and significant boost thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Queensland Government.

During SOS Week, which runs from October 15-21, Queenslanders are being urged to ‘Support our Savers’ and recognise the crucial role that volunteer surf lifesavers perform up and down the state’s coastline.

In the past five years alone, Queensland’s army of volunteer surf lifesavers have performed more than 470,000 preventative actions to keep beachgoers safe, treated 50,489 injured first aid patients and, most importantly, rescued 7,208 swimmers in distress.

SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan thanked the Queensland Government for its generous donation, saying it would go a long way towards saving lives and protecting beachgoers.

“Every year our volunteer surf lifesavers spend more than 350,000 hours on patrol at Queensland beaches, watching over and protecting millions of swimmers in the process,” he said.

“Their actions have directly saved thousands of lives over the years – all people who were given a second chance thanks only to the bravery, training, and dedication of our volunteers.

“This service is offered completely free of charge to communities across Queensland, but it’s important to remember that SLSQ is a charity organisation and protecting beaches comes at a significant cost.

“This donation is a wonderful show of support from the Queensland Government, and a great way to help get the ball rolling on our SOS Week fundraising appeal,” he said.

Mr Brennan said that all funds raised during the appeal will be injected straight back into saving lives and protecting Queensland beaches.

“It can cost upwards of $60,000 to set up a single lifesaving patrol when you factor in all the gear and equipment including inflatable rescue boats, rescue boards, rescue tubes, oxygen, defibrillators and more,” he said.

“When you multiply that by 58 surf life saving clubs across the state, it begins to add up very quickly.

“Without the ongoing support of our partners, such as the Queensland Government, and public donations through campaigns like SOS Week, it simply wouldn’t be possible for surf lifesavers to do their jobs,” he said.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford urged everyone to chip in some money for the appeal.

“Normally our lifesavers are the ones going to the rescue but now it’s time for Queenslander to dig deep and show some support,” Mr Crawford said.

“The vital service provided by our volunteer surf lifesavers is offered free to the community, but unfortunately it comes at a significant cost to Surf Life Saving Queensland,” he said.

Throughout the SOS Week appeal, hundreds of surf lifesavers across the state will take to the street, doorknocking and rattling their collection tins to raise vital funds and awareness.

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