Surf life saving season ends at Narooma, Bermagui

Ambulance paramedics, VRA rescue squad members and patrol members start to carry the stricken young woman up the Narooma surf beach back in 2014.
Ambulance paramedics, VRA rescue squad members and patrol members start to carry the stricken young woman up the Narooma surf beach back in 2014.

Flags will come down on Anzac Day, April 25 signifying the end of the surf patrol season. 2016/17 proved to be a bit of a mixed bag with rescue numbers declining but a number of fatalities recorded.

Far South Coast director of life saving Andrew Edmunds said this year sadly saw an increase in fatalities, with six being recorded in the region which stretches from Durras to the Victorian border.

“Last season we only had two drownings, so it’s very sad to see this number rising,” Mr Edmunds said.

“Some incidents this year were result of medical issues; however we’re keen to prevent as many as possible by encouraging people to swim at patrolled locations, and take precautions such as wearing a lifejacket while boating or fishing.”

Mr Edmunds said volunteer surf life savers were due for a well-earned rest and passed on his thanks to all members for their contributions.

“Our members have been patrolling diligently since the season commenced in September and responding to coastal emergencies, performing 102 rescues, 185 first aid treatments and over 1000 preventative actions,” he said.

Moruya SLSC also took on the new initiative of patrolling an additional beach at Shelly Beach over Christmas school holidays and Easter.

“This worked very well with extra coverage to keep patrons safe,” Mr Edmunds said.

“Our members were also well supported yet again by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and rescue jet skis at Broulee and Pambula and worked well with other emergency services including police, ambulance and marine rescue.”

Lifesavers from Batemans Bay, Broulee, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui, Tathra, and Pambula responded to 37 emergencies including missing people, rock fishing incidents, boating accidents, fall from height, capsized kayaks and swimmers in trouble.

While volunteer patrols will not resume until September at selected beaches, an after-hours emergency callout capability remains in place at all clubs. If you witness any in-water emergency be sure to call 000 and ask for the police.

Surf Life Saving Season 2016/17 statistics

  • Rescues 102
  • Attendance 57,477
  • First aid 185
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 6
  • Preventative actions 1049
  • Emergency Callout incidents: 37


  • October 31, 2016  – man in his 50s died while Scuba diving at Kianinny Bay south of Tathra
  • November 20, 2016 – 43 year old Moruya man died at Pedro Point while diving.
  • December 1, 2016 – 54 year old male drowned at Garden Bay, near Malua Bay after failing to return from 4pm swim.
  • December 27, 2016 – elderly female deceased after fall from height at Malua Bay.
  • January 6, 2017 – elderly male deceased offshore believed to have heart attack in boat. Retrieved by Marine Rescue and Police.
  • January 21, 2017 – 54 year old Canberra man drowned after being swept off rocks while fishing at Tathra.

Breakdown by club

Narooma SLSC

  • Rescues 3
  • Attendance 5552
  • First aids 29
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 0
  • Preventions 69

Bermagui SLSC

  • Rescues 0
  • Attendance 4735
  • First aids 48
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 0
  • Preventative actions 70

Batemans Bay SLSC

  • Rescues 19
  • Attendance 4669
  • First aid 18
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 1
  • Preventative actions 487

Broulee Surfers SLSC

  • Rescues 58
  • Attendance 20,267
  • First Aids 19
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 3
  • Preventative actions 274

Moruya SLSC

  • Rescues 0
  • Attendance 714
  • First Aid 0
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 0
  • Preventative Actions 0

Pambula SLSC

  • Rescues 17
  • Attendance 9854
  • First aids 61
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 1
  • Preventative actions 131

Tathra SLSC

  • Rescues 5
  • Attendance 11,686
  • First aids 10
  • Incidents requiring ambulance 1
  • Preventative actions 18

Note on stats these may increase as final logs are entered for the season by surf life saving clubs. Final stats should be available by June 30.


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