A lifetime of free rescues is yours in return for a little help, say lifesavers as Surf Safe Appeal kicks off

Donate today at surfsafeappeal.com.au

Last year, Queensland’s volunteer surf lifesavers rescued 2,213 people from the sea, and now the ‘red and yellow army’ is asking for a helping hand of its own as the annual Surf Safe Appeal kicks off.

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) annual appeal will see thousands of surf lifesavers take to the streets, doorknocking and rattling their collection tins from August 31 to September 13 to raise vital funds needed to continue their community service.

Now in its 12th year, the Surf Safe Appeal is one of SLSQ’s largest fundraising initiatives, with all money raised going straight back into surf life saving clubs and protecting beachgoers across the state.

SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan urged all Queenslanders to dig deep this year, saying the Appeal was pivotal in ensuring that volunteer surf lifesavers have the resources and training to continue safeguarding our state’s beaches and protecting swimmers.

“A lot of people tend to forget that SLSQ is actually a charity organisation, which relies heavily on the generosity of the community to ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest level of beach safety,” he said.

“When you go to the beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, you can always feel reassured that our trained lifesavers are there to protect and watch over you, but now they’re asking for your help.

“This is an opportunity for Queensland to say thank you and recognise the value of our volunteers. Any donation, no matter how big or small, can go a long way towards helping save lives on our beaches.

“Our beautiful coastlines and waterways are free entertainment, but the costs to keep every person safe while enjoying our beaches, I’m afraid are not. While surf lifesavers volunteer their time, the costs to train the volunteers and the costs associated with setting up an effective beach patrol, including equipment, can total up to $60,000 a year per patrol,” he said.

Last year Queensland’s surf lifesavers volunteered 352,805 hours to patrol beaches and protect swimmers. During this time they performed 126,369 preventative actions, 6,647 first aid treatments and, most importantly, saved 2,213 lives in the process.

Away from the red and yellow flags, SLSQ’s surf lifesavers are just as active, educating 601,693 people last year about beach safety through a variety of community awareness programs.

“Since 1930, volunteer surf lifesavers and lifeguards have saved a staggering 131,411 lives across Queensland – that’s an overwhelming number of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who were given a second chance in life thanks to the training and dedication of our members,” Mr Brennan said.

All funds raised throughout the Appeal will be reinvested back into funding vital lifesaving services in Queensland.

Donations can be made in person or online at www.surfsafeappeal.com.au.

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