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Lifesavers bring the beach to the bush

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) will take a little bit of the beach to the bush this week by delivering surf and water safety messaging to regional schools across the state.

Five simultaneous tours will be conducted, travelling 6,800kms across the state, with more than 11,000 students from 67 primary schools welcoming the unique sight of surf lifesavers and receiving vital water safety information for the beach and inland waterways.

As part of this year’s program, surf lifesavers will be travelling to towns as far and wide as Dimbulah, Mount Isa, Clermont, Gladstone, and Saint Gorge.

SLSQ Community Awareness Manager Helen Hallett said the program enabled lifesavers to educate students who were largely unfamiliar with surf hazards or the potential dangers of inland waterways such as dams and creeks.

“Children in regional areas usually haven’t had a great deal of exposure to the beach. We aim to ensure that when they do visit our coastline, they are equipped with the basic skills and knowledge to have fun and stay safe,” she said.

“Students will take part in an interactive presentation learning how to identify safe places to swim at the beach, how to look for and interpret warning signs, and how to recognise risks when swimming in their local waterway.

“Ultimately, the visits allow us to reinforce the importance of swimming at patrolled beaches – between the red and yellow flags – when students and their families visit the coast.”

Ms Hallett said the longevity of the Breaka Beach to Bush program was due to its ability to reach those considered ‘high risk’, given their lack of surf and water safety knowledge.

“We want to help educate as many children as possible, because no matter where they go swimming, there are ways they can do it safely and with confidence. By following our advice, children can potentially avoid putting themselves in dangerous situations.”

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