The State’s waterways will have enhanced safety this summer with the arrival of new vehicles and jet skis following a major funding investment from the NSW Government.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott visited Wanda Beach today to inspect some of the 11 new vehicles and 11 new jet skis for Surf Life Saving NSW.
The new equipment forms part of a $16 million funding package over four years for SLSNSW which enhances the capability and support for volunteers at their 11 branches across the State.
Each vehicle and jet ski is fitted with GPS tracking to ensure the safety of volunteers who are often working alone or with just one other person in remote areas. The vehicles are also fitted with shark alarms to warn swimmers.
“The NSW Government recognises the contribution surf lifesavers make to protecting and saving lives along our coastline and we are pleased to be able to support the organisation with fit for purpose rescue equipment,” Mr Elliott said.
“These new vehicles and jet skis will be put to good use this summer to protect our waterways, but I still encourage everyone to be safe and take care in the water.”
SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce says the new rescue equipment rolling out will better support and enhance the safety of frontline volunteers.
“Our members are often called out to serious emergencies along the coast and now they will have the support of dedicated rescue-ready gear to respond to incidents out of hours and in tricky situations,” Mr Pearce said.
SLSNSW is increasingly expanding its services beyond just beach patrols during the summer with volunteers called on to respond to searching for missing swimmers, rock fishers in trouble and watercraft users in distress on a 24/7 basis.
Last year SLSNSW received almost 600 requests for assistance from Emergency Services that were responded to by volunteers.