Even the most experienced Far South Coast lifesavers took away skills from an intense power craft weekend at Tathra, on October 19-20.
More than 30 lifesavers dusted off the cobwebs with Sydney Surf Life Saving NSW trainers. Training included theory and hands-on skills for drivers and crews of inflatable rescue boats (IRB) and powered water craft.
NSW director of lifesaving Joel Wiseman said the weekend brought the Far South Coast Branch together ready for the season.
"Some were new crew members and others have been involved with power craft for nearly 15 years," Mr Wiseman said.
"It was a great way to pass on knowledge and take the training back to their clubs and patrols."
Volunteers were passionate: "I had someone come up to me on Saturday when we were doing skill sets in the shore dump; they were nervous going out, but afterwards said it was fantastic and loved it."
Clubs expressed their appreciation.
Broulee's Natalie Browning said: "It was an awesome weekend to get together and utilise skills from other members and give them our knowledge. It was great for a lot of us to get back to IRB basics, because we have been off the craft for a while - to go over the mechanics and how to extend the life of the IRB."
Moruya training officer Mike Hallahan valued the techniques shared: "There were different rescue techniques to what I had been taught. They made a lot of sense and I will be employing them."
Bermagui captain Andrew "Lobba" Curven forgot how hard it was as a "crewie": "This time of year, it is good to go over everything again. Being a driver, it's good to learn the crew skills again - you seem to forget."
Lobba is keen to pass on skills to new members. He favoured the "tea bagging method" when rescuing a larger-person in an IRB: "Pushing them down first to pull them up - is a very good technique I would like to bring back to the club."
Tathra Nippers water safety coordinator Jen O'Leary said egos were left at home: "It happens so rarely that people around surf craft leave their egos behind. Drivers became crew and patients - which was a great experience to pick up new skills."
Ms O'Leary looked forward to working on a Nippers water safety plan with the help of Pambula.
Ash Braden of Pambula recently acquired her IRB crew certificate and the weekend boosted her confidence: "Positioning inside the IRB and communication with the driver is something I took away from the weekend."