Surf Life Saving volunteers – including those at Robe and Beachport – will benefit from an almost $13m cash injection that significantly increases operational capacity and secures five crucial club redevelopments in a move that further strengthens water safety at our beaches.
The State Government is committing $12.9m to Surf Life Saving South Australia (SLSSA), including a 33% operational funding boost – the first increase of its kind for the much-loved organisation in more than 15 years.
SLSSA President Kevin Watkins said volunteers performed 11,355 preventative actions in 2018 compared to 20,143 last year.
“Last year alone, 154 lives were saved because a Surf Life Saver was on patrol and able to rescue them,” Mr Watkins said.
“The more than 80,000 volunteer patrol hours they performed, across the 21 Surf Life Saving Clubs in SA, provide an invaluable service to the public, to help keep them safe.”
SLSSA chief executive Damien Marangon said the lift in operational funding and the extension of club redevelopment funding “ensures that our dedicated volunteers are able to remain rescue ready, with world leading lifesaving facilities and equipment to support them to protect beachgoers”.
“We have unfortunately already seen too many drowning tragedies across our coast this summer, so having this additional funding means we can continue to support our clubs and volunteers patrolling our beaches, educate more people in our water safety programs and strive towards our vision of zero preventable deaths in SA waters,” Mr Marangon said.
The latest investment follows the State Government allocating $630,000 over four years to provide $5000 to each SLSSA club each year for upgrades to key rescue and emergency response equipment and $190,000 for drones to enhance shark surveillance capability.