Surf Life Saving Australia: Safety at the beach isn’t cheap

SAVING lives does not come cheap.

Surf Life Saving Australia is urging beach lovers to dig deep so it can keep its rescue missions above water over the coming years.

Launching its annual national fundraising and awareness campaign yesterday, SLSA revealed its 49,000 volunteer members across 313 clubs rescued 12,690 beach-goers in 2014-15.

That equates to 35 lives saved a day in the past financial year.

Lifesavers also completed 42,000 first aid treatments during the organisation's 1.3 million volunteer hours along Australia's coastline.

SLSA president Graham Ford said the cost of patrolling Australia's beaches exceeded $25 million a year with the price of setting up just one club's annual beach patrol hitting $81,000.

"This summer we are asking beach-goers 'What value do you put on a safe day at the beach?'," he said.

"The costs to SLSA are considerable but it is a commitment we continue to make.

"However, we do need your help."

Mr Ford said most Aussies had no idea the SLSA relied on the community's goodwill.

"Our research tells us that people recognise that we are a worthy community cause, but there is not the understanding that we are in need of financial support," Mr Ford said.

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  • Last financial year Surf Life Saving Australia patrols rescued 12,690 people on Australia's coastline.
  • There are 313 SLSA clubs across the country.
  • In 2014-15, 49,000 SLSA members provided 1.3 million hours of volunteer patrols.
  • There were more than 1.2 million preventative actions and 42,000 first aid treatments.
  • The Be A Lifesaver national fundraising campaign aims to raise $1 million by 2020.

Source: National Coastal Safety Report

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