NINETEEN lives have been saved in the past year thanks to the efforts of surf lifesavers from Trigg to Cottesloe.
Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club members were estimated to have saved the lives of seven people, performed 72 rescues and a staggering 5506 preventative actions between May 1 last year and April 30, in figures released by Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) this week.
A Deloitte report estimated three lives each were saved at Trigg Island and Floreat surf clubs, two each at City Beach-based City of Perth and Cottesloe and one each at Swanbourne Nedlands and North Cottesloe.
But sadly, the report found coastal drowning deaths in WA had increased by 31 per cent, with 17 lives lost.
Men continued to be overrepresented at 88 per cent and boating incidents accounted for 41 per cent of the deaths, up by 23 per cent on the previous year.
SLSWA lifesaving general manager Chris Peck said no drownings occurred in areas under direct surveillance by its services but statistics would have been worse if not for their presence.
“Last year, our lifesaving services performed 481 rescues and 52,544 preventative actions,” he said.
“Based on this, we also know that, without our services we would have seen an additional 50 lives lost on the WA coast, and a further 30 critical injuries incurred, at a cost to the WA community in excess of $225 million.”
Mr Peck said SLSWA was using community education in an effort to ensure no preventable drowning deaths and reminded beachgoers to swim between the red and yellow flags, where no lives had been lost.
Volunteer surf lifesaver patrols start in October.
Individual surf club statistics:
Trigg Island: 39 rescues, 806 preventative actions (PA), 3 estimated lives saved (ELS)
Scarboro: 72 rescues, 5506 PA, 7 ELS
Floreat: 26 rescues, 1438 PA, 3 ELS
City of Perth: 8 rescues, 1727 PA, 2 ELS
Swanbourne Nedlands: 7 rescues, 609 PA, 1 ELS
Cottesloe: 30 rescues, 426 PA, 2 ELS
North Cottesloe: 10 rescues, 584 PA, 1 ELS