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Surf lifesavers go from Beach to Bush to spread water safety messages

Surf lifesavers aren’t beating around the bush when it comes to water safety this summer.

From August 22-26, Queensland’s surf lifesavers will be hitting the road and visiting some of the state’s most remote and rural towns to help spread the surf safety message as part of SLSQ’s annual Breaka Beach to Bush program.

The educational program has been operating in Queensland since 1998 and, each year, sees surf lifesavers leave the beach and visit regional towns and cities across the state to spread the surf safety message.

To this day the program remains one of the largest and most innovative community awareness initiatives in Australia, having directly reached more than 280,000 school children since its inception.

Five simultaneous tours will be conducted across the state, with more than 15,000 students from 65 primary schools welcoming the unique sight of surf lifesavers and receiving vital water safety information in the process.

As part of this year’s program, surf lifesavers will be travelling to towns as far and wide as Thursday Island, Mount Isa, Roma, Doomadgee, Cloncurry, Surat, Cunnamulla, and Toowoomba.

SLSQ community awareness manager Helen Hallett said the program had been developed after statistics identified people who lived more than 50 kilometres from the beach as a particularly ‘high risk’ group when it came to coastal drownings.

“It’s no secret that Australians love the water, be it the beach, the backyard pool or a country dam,” she said.

“With that in mind, it’s really important that every single Queenslander – regardless of where they live – is equipped with some of the basic skills, information and knowledge to protect themselves and others while in the water this summer.

“The Breaka Beach to Bush program helps our surf lifesavers continue to spread important messages far and wide throughout Queensland. It’s a really fun program for the kids and the lifesavers alike, delivering potentially lifesaving water safety lessons in a fun and engaging way,” she said.

Mrs Hallett said students will receive vital water safety tips by taking part in an interactive presentation with a focus on swimming between the red and yellow flags, always following safety signs and looking out for each other while enjoying the water.

SLSQ acknowledges and thanks Breaka Flavoured Milk for its ongoing support of this vital initiative.

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