Margaret River Surf Lifesaving Club goes from strength to strength | Augusta-Margaret River Courier

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For a few hours every Sunday morning in October, November, February and March since 2017-18, the Margaret River Surf Lifesaving Club (MRSLSC) and local families have gathered on the shores of Gnarabup Beach to take part in lifesaving activities in surfing.

The club was established in 2003 and ran a Nippers program from 2006 to 2009, before reopening the program in 2017.

The group now runs a successful summer program on the coast, teaching kids different surfing conditions and giving them the skills to enjoy the ocean safely.

The club and program are “changing the lives” of participants and volunteers, according to club spokesman Richard Lee-Pullen.

“In an area renowned for its big waves and wild surfing, learning the techniques to stay safe in the ocean is hugely beneficial,” he said.

“As any parent knows, it can be scary watching your child swim or paddle through waves and deep water.

“Getting caught in a rip at Redgate or being beaten by waves at River Mouth can be really scary, both for the person involved and for the onlookers.”

Mr Lee-Pullen said the club’s continued success was quite an achievement, given the lack of facilities.

“Operating from a small shed on Resort Place, Gnarabup, all equipment has to be loaded into trailers weekly and transported to the beach,” he said.

“It’s quite a logistical challenge given the popularity of the White Elephant cafe and boat launch, but the club has managed to maintain its enthusiasm and focus to provide locals with a sports club that benefits everyone, not just its members.”

Mr Lee-Pullen said it was equally important to ensure adults were trained on what to do if they saw someone in danger.

“With an average of fifty children on the beach each week, aged five to fifteen, it’s quite a spectacular sight.

“Parents quickly learn that this is not a drop-and-run style sports club, with lots of help needed in planning activities, leading groups, keeping everyone safe by ensuring safety water and of course lots of moral support when the going gets tough.

“It’s the helping parents every week that has made the Margaret River Surf Life Saving Club so special.”

With an average of fifty children on the beach each week, aged five to fifteen, it’s quite a spectacular sight. Parents quickly learn that this is not a drop-and-run style sports club, with lots of help needed in planning activities, leading groups, keeping everyone safe by ensuring the safety of water and of course lots of moral support when the going gets tough. .

Richard Lee-Pullen, MRSLSC

Since 2017, the club has welcomed 270 children and 180 adults as members, which Lee-Pullen says demonstrates a strong desire from the local community to establish a more serious surf lifesaving club presence in the area. region.

“The success of the small club and its ability to provide locals with both training and emergency services relies on the support of the community,” he said.

“Like other community groups in the area, the Margaret River Surf Life Saving Club is made up entirely of volunteers: people who, week after week, give their time for free.

“So far there has been tremendous support from local families who have joined and been involved with the club.

“Each week, children and adults end the session feeling happier than when they started.”

Members of the Margaret River Surf Life Saving Club have also had great results in and near the water.

Jake Fisher was awarded a Silver Medal for Bravery by WA Surf Lifesaving, for his heroic rescue of a woman in Gas Bay.

Thirteen adult members took part in locally organized lessons and received the bronze medal in Surfing Life Saving.

One member was employed by the Augusta Margaret River Shire to patrol the beach at River Mouth – an important service which has seen many people helped to safety over the years.

The club also provides equipment, such as a jet ski and an inflatable rescue boat, to help with rescues when surfers get into trouble or when people have gone missing off the coast.

Members also help with water safety at Busselton Jetty and Gnarabup during swim events.

“All of these services are invaluable to the community, and the Margaret River Surf Life Saving Club is proud to be called upon any time of the year when needed,” Mr Lee-Pullen said. “In an area with so many beaches and a tremendous surfing culture, Margaret River SLSC is delighted to be an important community sports club that can provide a valuable service to the public.”

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