Beach safety bolstered

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett with young Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club members Neven Jankovich, Joey Yelavich,Tyler Jackson and Tommy Yelavich. Picture: Martin Kennealey d415345
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett with young Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club members Neven Jankovich, Joey Yelavich,Tyler Jackson and Tommy Yelavich. Picture: Martin Kennealey d415345

The club’s new $10 million facility at Poore Grove has been cast as the catalyst behind the sharp increase to 1343 members.

Mandurah Surf Live Saving Club experienced a similar spike after moving from a tin shed to a new $3.4 million community facility at San Remo Beach, with 407 new members signing up.

Across the State’s 29 surf clubs, 1522 new members have signed on for the 2013/14 season. Of those, 6074 are qualified as volunteer surf lifesavers capable of performing beach patrols.

An additional 534 people have qualified to become surf lifesavers by obtaining their bronze medallion and 425 have obtained their surf rescue ticket.

Surf Life Saving WA communications and partnerships manager Neil Poh said he was keen to see clubs continue to prosper, with membership numbers often fluctuating.

‘The more members Surf Life Saving WA clubs have to patrol the beaches, the less is the strain placed on volunteers who give up their time to keep WA beach-goers safe,’ he said.

‘More members does not necessarily guarantee safer beaches, but ensures surf lifesaving clubs continue to grow and prosper.

‘The most encouraging part of the membership growth has been the 534 people who have qualified to become surf lifesavers by obtaining their bronze medallions.’

Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club’s Candy Yelavich said she was proud to be a part of the integrated community facility.

‘Coogee Beach has always been a very popular beach during summer,’ she said.

‘Our dedicated team of volunteer lifesavers ensure that Coogee Beach is safely patrolled for the wellbeing of the public and wider community.

‘To date we can proudly state no lives have ever been lost at Coogee Beach while patrolling members have been on duty.’

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the facility was achieving aims set out during its planning.

‘The club’s membership numbers have increased significantly since its opening and this augurs well for the future in terms of engaging with the community and providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to soak up our great Western Australian climate from a world-class facility located on Australia’s most friendly beach,’ he said.