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SLSQ joins forces for new Gold Coast patrol

Surf Life Saving Queensland joins forces with Neptune Royal Life Saving to patrol Tallebudgera Creek

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Brisbane Lifesaving Service (BLS) and Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) will join forces with Neptune Royal Life Saving Club in providing patrol and rescue services at Tallebudgera Creek starting in the 2013-14 patrol season.

SLSQ Chief Operations Manager George Hill said Tallebudgera Creek was a great recreational area for swimming and to picnic, but had been identified as a black spot that required extended patrolling.

“It’s also very popular with families and visitors, but there was one fatality during the 2012/13 Patrol Season and a number of rescues from Tallebudgera Creek including five near drownings of a family because people are unaware of the dangers, particularly the strong outgoing and incoming tidal current,” Mr Hill said.

“If it wasn’t for the actions of our two off duty volunteer surf lifesavers walking by while on holidays, seeing the family in trouble and performing the mass rescue, we would have experienced a tragic loss of life.”

Neptune Royal Life Saving Club President, Clive Newman said Tallebudgera Creek can change quickly with the change of the tide and people are unaware of the danger unless there are on-duty lifesavers or lifeguards to let them know if it’s safe or not to go in the water.

“Neptune Royal Life Saving Club is looking forward to extending the coverage of this popular swimming and recreational area with Surf Life Saving Queensland’s ALS Lifeguards and Brisbane Lifesaving Service,” Mr Newman said. “Increasing the patrol coverage will be an added safety boon for our community and visitors to the area, in and out of the water.”

“Sadly, one person died at the mouth of Tallebudgera Creek during the 2012/13 Patrol Season and that also means that person’s family and friends have lost someone they love. Imagine how many families over the years will potentially not have to go through this sort of tragedy if we have lifesavers and lifeguards patrolling seven days a week from September to the following April.”

From 1999 to 2013, there were a total of four drownings making Tallebudgera Creek one of the top five highest drowning black spots in Queensland and the third highest on the Gold Coast with Surfers Paradise and Kurrawa the top two drowning black spots.

SLSQ was working with the Neptune Royal Life Saving Club, the Queensland Government and Gold Coast City Council in an initial 12-month trial patrolling Tallebudgera Creek with further discussions at the end of the trial on whether to continue the patrols. The decision will be made based on the statistics and feedback gathered during the trial.

State Member for Burleigh Michael Hart MP is in full support of extended patrols being put in place for the start of the 2013/14 Patrols Season on 21 September.

“We need to make sure our community and visitors are safe swimming in these popular recreation areas not only on the weekends, but also during the week,” Mr Hart said.

“Having the Neptune Royal Life Saving Club with the Brisbane Lifesaving Service and the ALS Lifeguards covering the Tallebudgera Creek entrance to help keep our community and visitors safe will be a great benefit for the area,” he said.

SLSQ Gold Coast Regional Manager Eddie Bennet said the Neptune Royal Life Saving Club will start their patrol season on 21 September.

“The ALS Lifeguards will cover the Tallebudgera Creek mouth, patrolling during the week from 8am to 5pm starting on Monday, 23 September 2013 through to 25 April 2014 and the BLS will cover patrols on the weekends and public holidays when the Neptune Royal Life Saving Club are not patrolling,” Mr Bennet said.
“These hours can be extended from 7.30am to 6.30pm for the ALS lifeguards during the summer school holiday period from 14 December 2013 to 27 January 2014.”

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