THE Christmas holiday break was definitely a lifesaver’s dream – great weather, big crowds and safe surfing.
Apparently some tourists must have read our safety advice, in particular regarding Alexandra Bay, for in this devil’s playground there was only one minor incident reported.
This occurred when a tourist, a man in his sixties, had to be helped to the beach by a couple of local swimmers.
The Sunshine Beach roving IRB patrol was informed and on arrival helped with a short application of assisted breathing. After resting, their patient was back to normal.
A major plus for our lifesavers has been the outstanding patronage given to our supporter clubs at Noosa Heads and Sunshine Beach by both the tourists and locals.
It is now obvious that the decisions made by these clubs to move from chook raffles into the world of big business has been a step in the right direction.
“The support we have received in our Supporter Club has been truly outstanding,” said Sunshine Beach club president Craig Law.
“Let’s not forget that the money that comes through our bar and restaurant facilities goes back down on to our beaches. It enables us to make sure that the rescue equipment used by our patrols is state-of -the art.”
Over the hill at the Noosa Supporter Club, the results have been the same.
General manager Anton Mogg said: “Everything was in our favor great weather, great crowds and safe surfing conditions then to cap it off Hasting Street. got its mojo back. We thank our tourists and locals for their support.’’
On Sunday morning at 9am the Noosa Club conducted its 12th Annual Shirley Strachan Memorial Swim.
This event which is proudly sponsored by McDermott Aviation was held in perfect conditions, with 48 clubbies taking part in the 1.2 kilometre course.
Organised and conducted by Bruce and Sandy Warren, this is the only swimming event that can be truly regarded as a club tradition.
The importance of this event cannot be stressed enough, for with the increasing number of mobile patrols being called on to work in big seas, the importance of having experienced surf swimmers as crewmen is vital.
In times of rescue work in cyclonic conditions, things can go wrong. The lives of not only the patients but also the crew personal will depend on their surf fitness.
Apart from the ongoing success of the swim, one of the highlights was that amongst the participants there were three veteran club members that have swam in all 12 – Peter French, Gina Lynch and Tony Wetherell.
For Tony it was a great performance, for at 74 years he was the oldest to participate. It is people like this that set the benchmark for others to reach.
Also taking part was another veteran Tony Le Mansey who at 56 has competed in 11 of the swims.
First home was 15-year-old Jaspre Outram. The Year 10 student at Sunshine State High School said it was a hard swim but conditions were good and it was a great experience.
In carnival events, he represents Noosa swimming as a member of the under 17 surf team.
In keeping with his policy of encouraging the young to take part, Bruce presents prizes at random to contestants and to see the smile on their faces when their effort is publicly acknowledged, makes it all worthwhile.
As he has said on many occasions, one of the goals of the swim is to build confidence in the young members.
This is exactly what the Warren Team is doing.