Volunteer surf lifesavers will be better equipped to keep Australian beaches safer, thanks to a new three-year partnership announced between General Motors Holden (Holden) and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA).
Holden was announced as a new major partner of SLSA, under a deal that sees Holden’s beach-loving Colorado 4WD becoming the official patrol vehicle of SLSA.
Graham Ford AM, President of SLSA said the partnership represented an exciting alignment of two iconic Australian brands and a significant boost to the organisations ability to help save lives.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Holden as a major partner. Their investment will support our surf lifesavers to respond with assistance in emergency situations through the provision of Holden beach patrol vehicles which will become a familiar sight for beachgoers across Australia,” he said.
Holden’s support will extend to financial assistance to SLSA, as well as drawing on the company’s national network of over 200-strong dealerships to actively promote key SLSA public safety messages.
“A recent spate of drowning deaths over the holiday period has highlighted, more than ever, the need for better public understanding of the risks associated with any aquatic recreational activity,” Mr Ford AM said.
“Through Holden’s partnership supporting front line services we will be able to reach more people with our public safety messaging campaigns and education programs, and that will help save lives.”
More than 10,000 people were rescued by surf lifesavers or SLSA lifeguards during 2016 – 2017 with almost 4 million preventative actions taken. That equates to 30 rescues a day and 450 preventative actions each hour.
Mark Bernhard, Holden Chairman and Managing Director, said Holden was proud to become SLSA’s newest major partner.
“Safety is our top priority at Holden and we’re passionate about having a positive impact on local communities, so the chance to support such a vital service and an iconic organisation felt fitting for us,” Mr Bernhard said.
“Our Holden Colorado can handle the toughest conditions and loves Australian beaches too, so it’s the perfect support vehicle for hardworking and dedicated lifesaving volunteers.”