Coogee Surf Life Saving Club Launches Comprehensive Beach Safety Program

Coogee Surf Life Saving Club
Photo credit: CC-BY-SA-4.0/Sardaka/Wikimedia Commons

A beach safety program has been implemented at Coogee Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC), as part of ongoing efforts by lifesavers to enhance community education and safety along the coastline.

Read: Beach Rescues Increasing in Coogee, Other Eastern Suburbs Beaches

The Beach Ocean Safe (BOS) Program is an opportunity for those from a wide range of backgrounds, specifically international students and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to develop and refine their ocean skills in a nurturing environment.

It’s initially a collaboration between the University of NSW Health Unit and Coogee SLSC’s Community Education team, with plans to expand across the state.

Photo credit: CC0/Dinkum/Wikimedia Commons

Statistics presented in the 2022 NSW Coastal Safety Report indicate that more than half of those who drowned in NSW between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022 were from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

As a means of directly addressing this, the first in what is hoped to be a significant series of programs was completed at Coogee Surf Life Saving Club earlier this month, with support from Tamarama SLSC and Cronulla SLSC.

The course was delivered over two weekends in late March before participants ‘graduated’ on 1 April from the program. Primary learnings were how to enter the ocean and manage waves; how to dive under waves; and how to float, tread water and dive under the water.

Photo credit: CC-BY-SA-4.0/Sardaka/Wikimedia Commons

This was supported by CPR and First Aid training and theory sessions on rip currents, waves, and beach hazards.

“Since I came here to Australia, I’ve never been in the water because it was a bit scary for me,” participant Eli Talebi said.

“I learned many new skills. I learned how to do CPR. I also learned how to get in the water safe. And during the session, I was feeling completely safe because there were lifesavers that were looking after us.”

Indeed, more than 20 lifesavers from Coogee SLSC alone attended the program as support, many under 18 and enthusiastically passing on their knowledge.

Read: Gordons Bay Scuba Diving Club Proposes a Multimillion Artificial Reef on Coogee

Doug Hawkins, the Lead Trainer of the BOS Program at Coogee SLSC, expressed his pride in the program’s success and the increased ocean skills and knowledge demonstrated by the participants throughout the course.

Published 2-May-2023