Scarborough lifesavers gear up for summer

Scarborough lifesavers gear up for summer

SCARBORO Surf Life Saving Club member Andrew Matraszek recalled one of the busiest days at Scarborough Beach in 2011 at Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) Summer Launch last week.

Mr Matraszek was the SLSWA duty officer at his club on a 34-degree day two months before summer.

He said there was a 4.5m swell and it was the first warm day of the season.

“It started mid-morning and just built from there,” Mr Matraszek said. “We had six ambulances there and were just stacking them with people.”

Mr Matraszek said SLSWA monitored weather conditions to prepare for hectic days on Perth’s beaches but it was difficult to determine how intense the conditions would get.

He hoped there was not a repeat of that 2011 day this summer.

As well as launching summer 2015-16 last week, SLSWA kick-started its first BeachSAFE appeal at Scarborough Beach.

About 200 volunteers surf lifesavers gathered on the beach to launch the appeal that runs from December 1-13.

Money raised will go to the 30 WA clubs to help volunteers with their lifesaving work, including maintaining rescue gear and equipment, training, and educating the community.

SLSWA chief executive James O’Toole said any amount of money raised during the BeachSAFE Appeal would help save lives on WA beaches.

“Every little donation helps – with 881 lifesaving rescues made by our volunteers in the last year, 12 lives were still tragically lost on our shores,” Mr O’Toole said.

“The number has decreased from previous years, but it’s still 12 lives too many.”

The BeachSAFE Appeal will culminate in a street collection activity on December “11 as volunteer surf lifesavers head to the streets of Perth and Fremantle to raise money for the cause.

For more information and tips on staying safe at the beach visit www.surflifesavingwa.com.au or to donate to the BeachSAFE Appeal, visit www.beachsafeappeal .com.au.