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Volunteers raise the red and yellow flags on another patrol season

The weather is warming and beaches across our region will again be under the watchful eyes of thousands of volunteer surf life savers.

Thursday 28 September, 2017.

Newcastle Permanent is a long-term partner of surf life saving from the Central Coast to the Queensland border and through this community partnership we’ve contributed vital funding for training, equipment and support to volunteer and junior surf life savers across the region. It is an enduring partnership built on a strong foundation of shared values and commitment to the community.  

As the 2017/18 patrol season kicked off, Newcastle Permanent team members stood alongside volunteer surf life savers to take part in the ceremonial raising of the iconic red and yellow flags. Redhead Surf Life Saving Club member and Ironman series competitor Dan Collins, 20, said he’d looked forward to the raising of the flags every year for as long as he could remember.

"Both my sisters were involved in Nippers and I was jumping around on the beach with them when I was three or four years old and I started Nippers as soon as I could," he said. 

"Now, being able to give back to the community and keep the public safe on the beach on the weekends is a real driving force that keeps me coming back each year."

Breanna Blick, 18, is a volunteer life saver at Nobbys Beach Surf Life Saving Club. She’s been a member since she was 6 years old.

"I love doing it," she said. "I’d be down the beach anyway, and as a club member I get to give back to the community and volunteer at the beach at the same time. I’ve got lots of friends who do it as well, so it’s heaps of fun."

Henry Scruton, President of the Hunter Surf Life Saving branch, said Breanna and Dan’s enthusiasm for volunteering with their clubs echoed thousands of other members, including himself. 

"Young people get involved and find that it’s not only a great sport but a great way to make friends and give back to the community," he said. "You don’t have to be the fastest or the strongest swimmer to still play a really important role within the surf life saving movement."

Henry said this season the messages from surf life savers to the public remained the same as always. 

"Swim between the flags, obey the surf life savers, and we encourage people to ask life savers for advice on things like whether there are rips, or where is the safest place to swim," he said.

There’s still time to become a volunteer, simply contact your local SLS Club or Branch to find out how. 

Supporting Surf Life Saving is just one of the many ways we support the community, find out more here.

Two Surf Life Saving Club members on the beach, one holding a board and the other a float
Surf Life Saving club members Dan Collins and Breanna Blick.

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