Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club will benefit from $5,000 in funding through the Coalition Government’s Beach Safety Equipment Fund.
The fund assists Life Saving Clubs to purchase the essential rescue equipment and first-aid supplies they need to perform vital rescues over the summer season.
Flinders MP Greg Hunt said the funding allowed the club to continue its critical work.
“Having already performed a number of rescues this season, the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club fills a vital role in our community,” Mr Hunt said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our life savers for the admirable work they do to keep us all safe over summer.”
Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club President Georgie Wettenhall said the funding would be used to purchase new rescue equipment for voluntary patrols at Woolamai and Smiths Beach on Phillip Island.
“The funds will go towards new rescue tubes and inflatable rescues boats,” Ms Wettenhall said.
“This equipment will help us to keep beachgoers safe.”
Ms Wettenhall said swimmers could assist life guards by always swimming between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches.
A recent National Coastal Safety Report found four-in-ten coastal drowning deaths occurred more than five kilometres from a surf lifesaving club. The report also found that only 45 per cent of people swam at patrolled beaches during patrol hours and three-quarters of people quizzed could not identify a hazardous rip.
Mr Hunt said the report instilled the importance of water safety education.
“We need to change these statistics by teaching our children to identify dangers in the water and to impart on them the importance of always swimming between the flags,” Mr Hunt said.
“The Australian Water Safety Council has an aspirational goal to reduce drowning deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2020; it’s something our government supports and I know everyone who uses our beautiful beaches would like to assist in helping to achieve this goal.”
The Beach Safety Equipment Fund is additional to annual Government funding of more than $8.5 million to support water safety in Australia provided to the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, SLSA, AUSTSWIM and Laurie Lawrence Swimming Enterprises.