Every year thousands of swimmers across the state are pulled from the ocean and given a second chance at life thanks only to the training and bravery of Queensland’s volunteer surf lifesavers.
But now the ‘red and yellow army’ is asking for a helping hand of its own as Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) kicks off its 2018 SOS Week fundraising appeal (October 15-21).
During SOS Week Queensland communities are being urged to ‘Support our Savers’ and recognise the crucial role that volunteers perform up and down the coastline.
Surf lifesavers will be out in force across the week, doorknocking and rattling collection tins to raise vital funds and awareness, with all proceeds going straight back into saving lives on Townsville beaches.
SLSQ manager Jenny Neal is urging everyone to chip in a dollar or two when they see a surf lifesaver out and about during SOS Week.
“Rain, hail or shine, our volunteer lifesavers are out there every weekend during the patrol season to watch over and keep swimmers safe in the water, but now it’s our turn to send out an SOS of our own,” she said.
“In the past five years alone our volunteer lifesavers across Townsville have performed more than 4,700 preventative actions to proactively protect swimmers and treated 538 injured first aid patients.
“These services are offered completely free of charge to Queensland communities, but it’s important to remember that we’re a charity organisation and protecting beaches comes at a significant cost.”
Ms Neal said all funds raised during the Appeal will be used to help clubs maintain and purchase vital rescue gear and equipment, as well as enhance the development and training of lifesavers.
“It can cost upwards of $60,000 to set up a single lifesaving patrol when you factor in all the gear and equipment including rescue boards, rescue tubes, oxygen, defibrillators and more,” she said.
“Importantly, every dollar raised during our SOS Week fundraising appeal will go straight back into providing our volunteers with the tools and training to save lives and protect swimmers on Queensland beaches.”
Volunteers from Arcadian, Picnic Bay, and Forrest Beach Surf Life Saving Clubs will be collecting at various locations during SOS Week, including:
Stockland Shopping Centre
Castle Town Shopping Centre
Fairfield Shopping Centre
Coles North Ward
Donations can also be made online at this link.