Water safety grant to help surfers save lives

Issued: 24 February 2017

Two thousand surfers will receive accredited training to conduct rescues as part of a NSW Government initiative to reduce drowning deaths in NSW.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said Surfing NSW would receive $191,000 under the Water Safety Fund Community Grants program for 2016-17.

Mr Grant said it follows a tragic summer of drownings in NSW with 21 people losing their lives between Christmas and 8 January.

"The surf can be fun but for inexperienced swimmers it can also be extremely dangerous. Surfers are often at unpatrolled beaches or in the water outside patrolled hours and with the right knowledge they can step in when swimmers get into trouble," Mr Grant said.

"Water safety education is crucial in making our beaches, rivers and swimming pools safer places. This grant means surfers will receive training to carry out rescues and provide CPR."

The initiatives to be funded as part of Surfing NSW's program include a course teaching board rescue techniques and an accredited CPR course for 2,000 surfers in high risk geographical locations. The training will be delivered at primary and secondary schools, through surf schools and board rider clubs.

Surfing NSW is the latest recipient of the Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program for 2016-17. Royal Life Saving NSW has also received $585,000 to deliver education programs in high risk locations and target activities such as drinking alcohol around water and leaving children unsupervised around pools.

Further water safety grants will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on the grants program go to www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au.