Surf lifesaving

From ArticleWorld

Surf lifesaving is a term that defines a movement that incorporates elements of voluntary lifeguard services and surf sport.


Surf lifesaving was invented in Australia in the early nineties. It appeared because of local drowning rates, which constantly increased. A voluntary based system was developed that trained people and they patrolled beaches acting as lifeguards. The first surf lifesaving group that was established was the Bondi Club, shortly followed by the Bronte Club. A public debate is still not solved with the question “Which one was first” a subject.


The Surf lifesaving clubs provide beaches with lifeguard services on public holidays and weekends in Australia. Lakes, pools and other aquatic facilities are also patrolled by volunteers. They are given the name Lifesavers and are different from Lifeguards. Lifesavers will patrol the needed area in groups, being led by a captain. They can be seen on all public holidays and weekends. Each year the lifesaver needs to pass an exam and needs to hold what is called a “Bronze Medallion”. Every volunteer needs to wear long sleeved shirts so that they would be protected from the sun and a competition cap can be seen at each club. These are worn during traditional competitions and training purposes. Nowadays surf lifesaving clubs founded on a volunteer basis can be noticed in many beach cities around the world.


Surf lifesaving also evolved as a competitive sport. It involves several competitions based on lifeguard duties and is currently based on volunteer clubs competing. Such contests are held during special carnivals. Clubs compete against each other in special competitions. Surf Lifesaving events that are extremely popular include:

  • Ironman competitions
  • Surf Boat
  • March Past
  • Surf Ski
  • Rescue and Resuscitation
  • Board events
  • IRB Racing.