Being a volunteer surf lifesaver is one of the best decisions I ever made. It allows me to combine my love of all things water and helping people.
It all started when I was about 5 years old when my parents signed me up to do nippers, which is a junior program that introduces surf life saving to children between 5 and 13.
I had always loved being in and around water as a child even though there was an incident where I almost drowned because I thought I was old enough to surf on my own. My confidence took a knock and I was a little afraid to go back into the water, but nippers helped me overcome my anxiety. It helped me grow my confidence and taught me how to be responsible at the beach, around swimming pools and all other bodies of water.
At age 15 I decided I wanted to carry on being around water and joined surf lifesavers as a volunteer.
Surf lifesavers is a not for profit organisation that provides surf rescue services and promotes water safety all across Australia. They also are Australia’s largest lifeguard service and contract out their service to coastal land managers and local governments.
Below are some of the requirements fo become a surf lifesaver:
- Be a minimum of 15 years of age
- Be a proficient swimmer – swimming in a pool and in the ocean require different skill sets and a good lifesaver would be proficient at doing both.
- Be up to date with rescue techniques – This is done as part of the annual skills maintenance, where skills are updated.
- Have a good knowledge of first aid, including resuscitation – being a surf life saver also requires treating injuries that may occur on the beach as well as in the water
- Obtain a bronze medallion training qualification
- Good general fitness level
Taking part in regular exercise also helps me perform tasks easier as I have to be able to get people out of the water quickly.
I like to work with weights at the gym to build muscle. To help me do this I now buy whey protein isolates online, up until now I was getting my workout supplements from my local supermarket. I find using these supplements help me build muscle and prevents me from eating lots of junk food.
I volunteer my time and believe in the surf lifesaver vision and mission of saving lives, building great communities and creating great Australians, while providing a safe beach and aquatic environment across Australia.
So if you are like me and would love to combine being around water, helping people and enjoy one of Australia’s greatest past times with lots of others join your local surf life saving club and start working towards getting your bronze medallion.
After joining a local club and have completed your qualification you will be able to wear the red and yellow colours of a surf lifesaver.
If you love boating then you probably love taking your best friend on your boat with you. Well your furry best friend anyways. Here are 6 tips to keep your pet safe while out on the water.
Keep lots of fresh water ready
This is pretty self explanatory, but it’s easy to overlook. Make sure your dog has plenty of water on the boat. They get hot and lose water much faster than we do.
Have an area on the boat that is shady for your four legged friend
It’s so easy to forget that dogs are covered in fur. When they spend all day in the middle of a boat it is easy for them to overheat. That’s why it’s so important to provide shade for them to cool off in.
Be careful where you let your dog swim
Our waters are getting more and more polluted, so be very careful where you let your dog swim. Just the other day I let my dog swim in a local lake. She came back with an old bottle of a pre-workout supplement called Capsiplex Sport. We quickly yanked it out of her mouth and threw it away. We were lucky that bottle was empty. So long story short be careful when you let your dog swim you don’t want them to get into anything bad.
Let your pet get acquainted with the boat while it is still docked
Most animals tend to be pretty timid around new things. So take some time to let your dog explore every nook and cranny of your boat. This will make them more comfortable with the boat and the trips you will take on it.
Teach your dog to relieve itself before you head on board
No one wants puddles all over their nice boat. Especially if you hit a large wave… So do yourself a favor and teach your pooch to relieve itself before you get on the boat. You will thank me for that tip.
Make your first trip a short one
Your first trip with your dog should be a short one. Your dog is still getting used to the movement of the boat and the restricted space. Plus some dogs get sea sick. The last thing you want is a 1 hour boat ride with a sea sick dog.
Invest in a doggie life vest
This seems a bit odd because most dogs know how to swim, but if you are taking long trips out to sea or even long trips in a deep lake you want to invest in a doggie life vest. If your dog goes overboard he could be swimming for a long time to get to shore or even back to you. A life vest will increases his chances of making it back.
Being safe on the water is paramount for all those who venture out on their boats whether you are our racing your sailing rig or putting out in your dingy for a spot of recreational fishing.
Below are some tips to help you safe while you enjoy your day on the water.
Check local weather conditions
Before you head out onto any water, whether lake, ocean or rivers, you should always be aware of the weather conditions that is forecast for the day. Checking the Bureau of Meterology is a must for all boating ventures.
Remember your lifejackets
For any boat one of the most important safety item are lifejackets. If you remember to have one for every person on board then you will have peace of mind if anything should go wrong.
Check your boat and safety equipment
Make sure your motor is in good running order, check you have enough fuel and water. Also make sure all your safety gear is in good condition, stowed for easy access if needed and that all passengers know where it is kept.
Stay in touch
Let others know of your plans, where you are going and your expected time of arrival or return. It is also important to note the number of passengers and leave description of your boat. You can pass on this information to a responsible person or with a coastal radio base.
Be alert to risky situations. One way of staying alert is to take two Alpha Brain before you head out, they are known to be the best brain supplements to help keep your mind sharp.
Have the correct marine licence. Make sure that you can handle the boat for where you plan to go and remember to keep to safe speeds.
Take extra care when boating alone. Make sure you are on the lookout at all times because the risks are far greater when you are boating on your own.
Know the rules of the sea-road. Use a light at night, go easy on drinking alcohol, drink related fatalities happen on the water too, and know how to use a marine radio.