April 10, 2021

Tourist surf rescue costs deserve to come out of Canberra’s immigration/tourism budget

(contributed by one of our members –  a former surf life saving patrol captain* )

Australian legends at Bondi

 

Why should volunteering Australians risk our lives to dive in to save reckless arrogant foreigners who give us their bird finger?

Well it’s why I retired from surf life saving.  Because after years of diligently trying to rescue helpless tourists, only to be ignored and dismissed as interfering busy body, that I decided to start turning a blind eye.  So morally, with such an inappropriate outlook, I retired because I simply no longer cared for the deliquent and arrogant foreign waders.  I wouldn’t have embellished them as ‘swimmers’.

Canberra’s uber foreign aid budget extracted from Australian taxpayers is a leftie exorbitant undemocratic $4 billion every year!

Boomerang Beach, Forster (NSW) June 24 in 2019:  ‘Two foreign anglers swept off rocks’

‘..A married couple was rescued by surf lifesavers and treated for hypothermia and other injuries after they were washed off rocks at Boomerang Beach near Forster on Saturday.  The couple were part of a group of four people (Asian, a fact mandatorily omitted by the PC media) rock fishing at around 11.30am on Saturday when a large wave struck the rocks. It swept the man, 31, and the 29-year-old woman out to sea.

Surf Life Saving duty officer, Richard Ellery, said the couple were both wearing life jackets at the time a “rogue” wave swept them off the rocks. The remaining members of their party raised the alarm.  (NB. The so-called ‘rogue’ waves were coming through with every set, all day).

Emergency services responded to a call to Triple Zero, including teams from Lower North Coast Surf Life Saving, Police, NSW Ambulance and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

(Who told the ethnics about 000?  How much did all this co-ordinated taxpayer-funded effort all cost for foreigners outside the patrolled beaches?  Why are such rescue costs kept from the taxpayers who fund them?)

 

Conditions at the time of the incident were cold and very dangerous with high winds and large sea swells. (Typical foreigners).

Mr Ellery rescued the couple by jetski, locating them floating about 100m from shore. A Surf Life Saving IRB (inflatable rescue boat) was also deployed as part of Surf Life Savings response.  The pair were retrieved and taken to the Pacific Palms SLSC at Elizabeth Beach for treatment. The woman suffered a fractured left leg and the man had a badly lacerated arm. Both were treated for hypothermia.  They were taken to Manning Base Hospital in Taree in a stable condition.

Manning Great Lakes police district Chief Inspector Paul Fuller:

“Had it not been for the life jackets and the incredibly swift response of Surf Life Saving personnel, we could have had an extremely tragic event here today.”

Ambulance officers attending the scene also praised the work of surf lifesavers saying; The volunteer surf lifesavers rescued the two very injured casualties in trying circumstances assisting them in serious peril.  The couple conveyed their sincere thanks for their assistance and amazing efforts.  (But any offer of payment or donations?  Not likely – the foreign reckless got off scott free!)

Former Pacific Palms SLSC pesident Kel McCredie, who was also part of the callout team, commended the jetski and IRB operators in locating and retrieving the couple saying that lives were saved by their efforts.  Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce also commended the response of local surf lifesavers saying that had it not been for the fast action and the fact the couple were wearing life jackets, there may have been a very different outcome.

Steven Pearce:

“We cant stress enough the importance of taking responsibility for yourself when rock fishing. Please stop and think before putting yourself, your friends and family and our first responders in danger.”

(Whatever.  If Pearce had translated what he said above into Mandarin, the foreigners still wouldn’t rissen. It’s just a waste of breath).

Crescent Head (NSW) May 17 in 2019:  ‘Search for missing Rock Fisherman’

‘…A search has resumed for a rock fisherman missing on the state’s Mid North Coast.   (Asians do get about)

Around 3:30pm on Thursday, emergency services were called to Crescent Head Lookout at Crescent Head, after a member of the public spotted personal items unattended on the rocks.

Officers from Mid North Coast Police District have been told a 37 year old man (yep, hero Asian male) was believed to have been fishing on the rock platform but hasn’t been seen since, and his car was found parked nearby. Police are investigating whether the man was wearing a life jacket when last seen.  (Not rikery!)

An extensive search was conducted on Thursday afternoon but was suspended due to bad light. (Only fair for sharks to have a try).

Police, with assistance from the Marine Area Command and Surf Life Saving NSW, began searching again at 7am, with drones assisting and PolAir later this morning.  Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.’

(So Crime Stoppers picking on sharks these days?)

Townsville, QLD June 10 in 2019:  ‘Drowned Samaritans: five Australians a year die trying to save others’

‘..A new study by north Queensland’s James Cook University outside Townsville has found an average of five ‘Australians’ die every year trying to rescue someone else from drowning, leading to calls for greater training in water safety and rescue.  (Fact: the victims were in Australia, but PC media, that does not automatically make them ‘Australian’.)

The study of drowning deaths led by north Queensland’s James Cook University looked at drowning deaths between 2002 and 2017, and found 51 of those drowned while trying to rescue another person.  Critically, about two-thirds of those being rescued were friends of family members, while separately around half of those being rescued were aged under 10.

New research has highlighted the dangers of trying to rescue someone from drowning without the proper skills. Credit:Michael Rayner
JCU’s Associate Professor Richard Franklin said the numbers indicated many people were putting themselves in harm’s way for people they loved.

Professor Franklin:

“Those numbers make sense because you’re more likely to get in trouble in the water when you’re around family and friends, who are then more likely to rescue you.  The other really positive thing is that, at least in Australia, we are willing to rescue others, which is a positive thing.”

Another thing which the research highlighted was that the majority of people who were conducting water rescues in general were younger, with people aged 25-34 years the leading age group with 27.5 per cent of rescues, followed by the 35-44 year bracket with 25.5 per cent.

Royal Life Saving Society Australia senior research fellow Ms Amy Peden:

” A programme of teaching high school students water rescue skills as well as basic first aid could ensure a base level of rescue competency in the general population. We’re talking about that population-level coverage, similar to vaccinations where you want a herd immunity; if as many people as possible have those skills then we can save some lives. Similar as well to motor-vehicle licenses, that high school age is probably an age where we can try to get that population-level coverage, but obviously it will be an ongoing discussion with the various departments of education. “

Nationwide inland, tragically seventeen rescuers (young Aussies) drowned between 2002 and 2017 while trying to rescue children, while another six who died between January 2006 and December 2015 were trying to rescue a dog.  During the period covered in the research 14 per cent of people who successfully completed a rescue had training through surf lifesaving or royal lifesaving clubs, and none of them died in the attempt.  More recently however a father and son, both members of a local surf club in Victoria, died while trying to rescue a tourist from rough waters near Port Campbell.

Professor Franklin said it showed even people with training had to be careful when rescuing someone in trouble.

“We see very very few people drown who have been trained up previously. So what this shows is having these skills can help keep you alive.”

Men were over-represented in the drowning statistics, with 82.4 per cent of the deaths recorded while rescuing a male swimmer.  The research has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Albany (WA) 3 Apr 2019:   ‘Mandatory life jacket plea for rock fishers on drowning anniversary’

The sister of an Albany man who drowned a year ago while rock fishing on Western Australia’s south coast has called for mandatory life jackets at all rock fishing spots.

Anne Timmer’s brother Sam Roth, 30 was hit by a wave while rock fishing at a spot known as the Deep, near Lowlands beach, about 30 kilometres west of Albany on April 2 last year.  He was not wearing a life jacket and, despite the use of an installed angel ring at the popular rock fishing spot, drowned soon after entering the ocean.

Ms Timmer:

“You have a fighting chance if you’re wearing a life jacket.  I hope it’s Sam’s legacy — there’s been a huge call now for life jackets to become mandatory and I completely agree with that, not because we lost Sam but because the sea isn’t biased. You can turn your back for five seconds and a wave can take you out, and that’s all she wrote.”

Ms Timmer’s comments follow a coronial report into the drowning of two men and suspected drowning of a third man in 2015 and 2016, released last year, which included a recommendation that rock fishers wear self-inflating life jackets.

It sparked the State Government decision to rollout a trial of mandatory personal floatation devices this year at the notorious Salmon Holes where 13 people have died since 1983.  That trial began in January with only one fisher issued a warning since fines were in place from February 1.

Ms Timmer said the policy needed to be introduced along the south coast which draws thousands of anglers each year during March and April’s salmon run.

Ms Timmer again:

“It’s not about imposing laws that make you feel like it’s a ‘nanny state’, it’s to preserve somebody’s dad, somebody’s mum or somebody who belongs to someone.   It could save lives, even if it’s just one life saved, it’s a life saved.  I just hope all was not lost when we lost Sam — that another fisherman, by wearing a life jacket, will not have to go through what we have.  It’s the most horrendous, tragic and horrible feeling.”

Albany Sea Rescue Group coordinator Chris Johns echoed Ms Timmer’s sentiment.  Mr John and his volunteers service one of WA’s most hazardous coastlines and have attended numerous drownings and rescues in recent years.

Chris Johns:

“I support the coroner’s recommendation that all rock fishers wear life jackets but said preventing more drownings took many different methods.  Improving mobile phone and VHF radio signal along the coast was also key.   It’s about coastal safety not just life jackets.  We have been pursuing various things for 15 years.

“The time-proven theory is that people have to be wearing a floatation device when they hit the water.   We’ve been saying for years, people need to wear a floatation device … some people who have been rock fishing for years think they’re bomb-proof.”

Mr Johns said the rollout of life rings along the WA coast, known as ‘angel rings’ did not compare to a life jacket.

“We know from deaths that they [angel rings] aren’t working.   Once someone falls in the water, another person has to risk themselves to get that device to you and hoping you’re not damaged and able to use it.”

Mr Johns questioned whether the Salmon Holes life jacket trial would provide relevant data as the trial itself may deter visitors to the site and therefore the number of incidents.

WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the life jacket trial at Salmon Holes would be evaluated, once complete, to find out whether it reduced rock fishing fatalities.

Dave Kelly:

“Since the trial began there has been strong compliance among fishers, to date no infringements and only one warning has been issued for not wearing a life jacket.  The trial complements our other rock safety initiatives which include funding Recfishwest’s Fish and Survive Program to install angel rings and rock anchor points along our coast, and providing a free life jacket loan program to fishers.”

Fishers can face fine of up to $200 for fishing on the rocks at Salmon Holes without wearing a personal floating device.

(A token slap on wrist with no monitoring, no enforcement, no deterrent, so another polly fraud bill).

A spokeswoman for Recfishwest said while the group advocates for fishers on rocky shorelines to wear appropriate life jackets, it did not support a blanket ban along the coast.

Ms Recfishwest:

“We believe the choice to wear a life jacket when fishing from the rocks should remain that of individual fisher.  Recfishwest does not support legislation mandating the use of life jackets while fishing from rocks.  We would consider supporting the compulsory wearing of life jackets under certain circumstances and certain locations, however, do not believe a blanket approach is appropriate.  We believe educating the fishing public about the advancements of new slimline life jackets and empowering them to make informed decisions offers greater long term positive safety outcomes than legislation.”

Ms Timmer said her brother’s friends and work colleagues had installed a commemorative plaque where he drowned at the weekend.

“I just hope others don’t have to go through what we have,” she said.

Feb 26 in 2019:  ‘As tourism thrives along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay Surf Club struggles to keep up’

‘..As millions of tourists visit Victoria’s south-west coast every year, a surf life saving club at the lynchpin of the Great Ocean Road is an unlikely victim of the region’s success.  Some 5 million tourists travel along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road annually, and 53% swim at its surf beaches.

Around 5.1 million tourists travelled along the road in 2017, but more people means more swimmers and the Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club has described underinvestment in community safety as “woeful and shameful”.

Appollo Bay SLSC redevelopment coordinator David Gorrie said the club is taking twice as long to perform rescues as they should because their clubhouse is at capacity.

David Gorrie:

“We’ve really got to stack rescue boats and suspend one rescue boat from the ceiling so the response times to get out to someone in need of saving in the water takes longer.  It should take sub-10 minutes, but it takes 10 to 20 minutes to unpack the gear.   Apollo Bay Surf Club says lack of government funding is putting community safety at risk.

Up to $7 million is needed to redevelop the redevelop the 35-year-old clubhouse “from scratch”.  With a steadily growing number of tourists, many of whom are inexperienced swimmers.  Demand has gone through the roof.

We’re halfway along the Great Ocean Road, we’re the place where most tourists stop to have their lunch and an increasing number of those tourists are doing overnight stays as well.  This is perhaps one of the most important safety and community assets along the Great Ocean Road and as I said, it’s well overdue for a redevelopment.”

The membership has tripled to 640 members in the past decade but many potential volunteers are now being turned away because the club does not have the capacity for them.

David Gorrie:

“[It] is a savage indictment at a time when you’ve got people dying in the water, and people wanting to learn how to save those people.   We’ve got a facility that’s basically so bad, with showers and toilets blocked and rusting frames and steelwork, that most of those girls these days would prefer to get changed on the beach.”

Brunswick Beach, Byron Bay (NSW) Jan 31, 2019:  ‘Man drowns at popular beach’

‘..The 36-year-old (tourist) was swimming at Brunswick Beach near Byron Bay with a group just after 11am when he found himself in trouble.

A female friend on shore attracted the attention of two surfers who managed to pull the man in.

“Despite the best efforts of emergency services including lifeguards, paramedics, police, and members of the public a man couldn’t be revived,” Surf Lifesaving NSW said in a statement.

At the time of the accident the swell was about 1m and has been described as “challenging” for swimming… It is understood that the 36-year-old male believed to be an inland resident was swimming with a group in the waters approximately 100 metres to the south of the surf club (outside the beach patrol flagged area) when he got into trouble in a rip current at around 11:15am.

 

A female friend who was on shore witnessed the incident and frantically attracted the attention of two surfers in the area who were able to pull the unconscious swimmer onto their boards where they commenced CPR while paddling to shore.  Surf lifesaving assets including a Far North Coast Duty Officer, the Support Operations team, and an Australian Lifeguard Service Lifeguard from Byron Bay were all tasked to attend the scene.

Once the man was returned to the shore intensive CPR with the ALS Lifeguard racing to the Brunswick clubhouse to retrieve a defibrillator to assist.  Despite the joint efforts of everyone involved all efforts to revive the man were unsuccessful.

At the time of the incident the swell was around four foot and has been described as “challenging” for swimming.  Today’s fatality lifts the NSW coastal drowning toll to 23 since last July and has prompted lifesavers to urge the public to head to Byron Bay Main Beach, which is the closest beach in the area on weekdays.

Yours Truly:  “Hey dumb fu#cks!  Beach Closed and we’re not going in after ya!”

Jan 31 in  2019: ‘This is the person most likely to drown rock-fishing in the Illawarra’

‘..Surf Life Saving Australia data reveals there were 19 rock fisher drownings across New South Wales Illawarra and South Coast coastlines between 2004 and 2017.

A man swept to his death while fishing off rocks at Windang Island last weekend was within the demographic most likely to drown while dangling a line, a new national report into the dangerous sport has revealed.  The Illawarra incident, which claimed the life of a Sydney man aged in his 40s, was one of two rock fishing fatalities nationally over the Easter break, prompting a Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) plea for fishers to make their safety a priority.

A SLSA safety brief, released this week, revealed there were 158 rock fishing drownings across the country in the past 13 years – 95 per cent were males with an average age of 45 years.

Data obtained by the Mercury showed there were 19 rock fishing deaths across the Illawarra and South Coast during the same period – 95 per cent were males and about two thirds (68 per cent) were aged between 40 and 60.  While most of those who drowned were Australian residents, 74 per cent were born in Asia.

SLSA national coastal risk and safety manager Shane Daw said the rock fisherman’s death at Windang last Saturday showed how quickly things could go wrong.  In that incident, the man was swept off rocks about 10pm. He was plucked totally succumbed from the water by a rescue helicopter crew, but died at the scene.

The SLSA data showed that of the 158 deaths nationwide, 103 were in NSW. Ninety-nine per cent of all victims were not wearing a personal flotation device or a lifejacket when they drowned.

Shane Daw:

“That’s an alarming statistic.  We can’t say that everyone would’ve survived, but the facts are pretty clear. If you don’t wear a lifejacket and you are rock fishing and you end up in the water … there’s more likely a chance you’re not going to survive.”

Little Beecroft Head, Nowra (NSW) Jan 8, 2018:  ‘Rock fisher drowns on NSW south coast while not wearing a life jacket’

‘..A rock fisher has drowned after falling into the ocean without a life jacket in the Shoalhaven area on the New South Wales south coast.

The 25-year-old man fell into the water as he was walking to a fishing spot at Little Beecroft Head near Currarong this morning, NSW police said. The man was unconscious when he surfaced.

Shoalhaven LAC Inspector Ray Stynes:

“Two of the other men jumped into the water to assist him using a nearby angel life ring.”

The three men were rescued by Marine Rescue NSW and NSW Water Police assisted by a helicopter, but the man could not be revived.  The other two men who tried to save the 25-year-old have been taken to hospital to be treated for exposure.

 

* This article written by former S.L.S.A. volunteer surf life saver of eleven years of beach patrols (NSW, VIC, QLD) – holding the Bronze Medallion, First Aid & CPR, Advanced Resus, IRB driver, Radio Ops, Patrol Captain, and multiple rescues experience. Thankfully no drownings on our patrols watch – our crew legends.
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