CAN you imagine our beaches without surf lifesavers?
That’s the question being posed by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) ahead of the final weekend of its 2014 Surf Safe Appeal.
SLSQ’s annual appeal, which wraps up this Sunday, has already seen thousands of lifesavers across the state take to the streets, door-knocking and rattling their collection tins to raise the vital funds needed to continue their community service.
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It’s an arduous task, but one SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan said was necessary in order to save lives and protect beachgoers.
“Last year volunteer surf lifesavers spent some 350,000 hours on patrol, performing 3,373 first aid treatments, 118,786 preventative actions and directly saving the lives of 2,137 swimmers who found themselves in trouble and out of their depth in the ocean,” he said.
“It’s scary to think what would have happened to all of those swimmers had our beaches not been patrolled by trained and dedicated surf lifesavers. There are literally tens of thousands of people walking around out there who are only alive today thanks to the actions and quick thinking of Queensland’s surf lifesavers.
“They do an amazing job, and it can often be easy to take their work for granted; but the stark reality is that SLSQ is a charity organisation which relies on community support, and we need your help to ensure that our volunteer lifesavers can continue their work in the years to come,” Mr Brennan said.
Mr Brennan urged all Queenslanders to consider donating to this year’s Appeal, saying every dollar counted when it came to saving lives on our beaches.
“This weekend is our last big fundraising push for the Appeal, and lifesavers will certainly be out in force rattling their collection tins one final time before the summer months,” he said.
“It costs almost $60,000 to set up a beach patrol, and then $10,000 a year to maintain it. On top of that, it can cost up to $850 to train a young lifesaver to patrol standards.
“When you go to the beach and our lifesavers are on duty, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands but, it’s important to remember that we need your help and support to ensure it remains that way,” Mr Brennan said.
The 2014 Surf Safe Appeal runs through to September 14. Donations can be made online at www.surfsafeappeal.com.au or by calling 1800 642 925.