Jet skis to the rescue as SLSWA issues warning

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Smiths beach surf lifesavers practice jet ski rescues the training is conducted by both lifeguards and volunteers.
Camera IconSmiths beach surf lifesavers practice jet ski rescues the training is conducted by both lifeguards and volunteers. Credit: Pic: Jackson Lavell-Lee, Jackson Lavell-Lee

Beachgoers have been warned against complacency this festive season by local lifeguards.

Surf Lifesaving WA issued the warning as both paid and volunteer lifeguards from Bunbury, Busselton, Smiths Beach and Margaret River conducted jet-ski training at Smiths Beach last Saturday.

SLS WA regional manager Michael Matraszek said it was important to go to patrolled beaches if you were travelling and unsure of the local conditions.

All swimmers should swim between the flags and look after loved ones, especially small children.

Drowning has already claimed 23 lives in Australia so far this December and last summer was the worst in 14 years for drowning deaths, with 52 people losing their lives between December and February. Most of those were tourists.

Speaking at the rescue training session, Mr Matraszek said it was important for both paid and volunteer lifeguards to hone their rescue skills and jet skis were ideal for conditions in the South West.

“Jet skis are the most effective tool when it comes to water rescues but the best rescue is prevention,” he said.

“It’s very hard to get an unconscious body on a ski, especially when there is a bit of swell, they are heavy and difficult to manoeuvre.”

Jet-ski rescue techniques can also be used to provide support to Water Police through emergency response, search and rescue missions.

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