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Wollongong City Council

Surf Life Savers recognised for their efforts this summer

Thursday 15 April 2021

We’re inviting our community to join us in thanking volunteer Surf Life Savers for their significant contribution to community safety at our beaches during the 2020/2021 summer school holiday period.

On Sunday 18 April, Wollongong City Council will project an image slideshow onto the Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse from 6-9pm as a tribute.

The photographic display is the result of Council’s resolution to acknowledge the efforts of volunteer Surf Life Savers who protect residents and visitors enjoying our beaches across the city during summer.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said that the past summer had been a challenging one for both Council lifeguards and volunteer Surf Life Savers as COVID restrictions and local tourism created a higher demand on Wollongong beaches.

“International travel restrictions and changing COVID rules meant that we saw an increase in the number of people enjoying our beaches this past summer,” Cr Bradbery.

“Sadly, we’ve also witnessed more beach rescues and in some cases drownings, many outside of patrolled areas and patrol times. These events have an impact, and our volunteer Surf Life Savers have remained dedicated, professional and hardworking.

“Council would like to thank all of these volunteers for their important role in protecting our community over the past summer months.”

Throughout summer, volunteer Surf Life Savers worked closely with Council Lifeguards to implement a number of COVID safe measures to manage increased crowd numbers on beaches.

“Here in Wollongong we have the added challenge of managing 17 patrolled beaches from Stanwell Park in the north to Windang in the south,” Cr Bradbery said.

“With an increase of visitors from other council areas visiting Wollongong’s beaches, we had to work closely with our volunteer Surf Life Savers to encourage people to stay safe in the water by swimming between the flags.

“Now that the weather is cooling down and the demand on our beaches begins to reduce, we’re able to take a moment to acknowledge and thank our volunteers for their part.”

If you’re planning on visiting the lighthouse, make sure you put on warm clothes as the weather is likely to continue to cool this weekend.

We also ask that all community members continue to follow the NSW Public Health Orders by keeping your distance from others, sanitising your hands and staying home if you feel unwell.

For those who don’t get the chance to view the lighthouse, we’ll be sharing a version of the slideshow on Council’s Facebook page on Sunday.

WHEN: 6 – 9pm, Sunday 18 April 2021

WHERE: Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse, Wollongong