In this article we are going to look at and exam the roles and duties of lifeguards on the beach.
When you go to the beach you have a choice, you can choose the beach with lifeguards or the one without. To many people the choice is simple, it’s safer being on a beach that is being monitored by professionals. But, you may prefer the privacy that beaches without lifeguards tend to offer.
The simple fact is that you’re safer on the beach with a lifeguard because they are trained to spot issues and help you before it’s too late.
You should note there is a difference between a paid lifeguard and a surf lifesaver. Surf lifesavers are trained to save lives and volunteer to help out at the beach. Lifeguards are trained to do the same thing but they are paid for what they do. They are both first aid trained and get trained by Basic Life Support Courses.
Once you appreciate what a surf lifesaver does without pay, you’ll realize that it’s time to donate to Surf Life Saving Australia and do your bit to save lives.
Assess the beach
One of the most important jobs that a lifeguard needs to do is check the beach. They need to look at the beach to ensure there is no dirt and debris that could be hazardous to users. Alongside this, they need to assess the sea movements, the swell, the underwater terrain, and various other factors. They are looking for signs of danger in the water, such as a wave breaking early that could indicate a rip.
The lifeguard will mark the safe area of the beach and they will move the markings through the day if necessary. This tells you where to swim safely. If you swim inside the designated zone the lifeguards will keep an eye on you.
Your lifeguard is employed by the local council and will be watching the water and the beach for any signs of trouble. This includes people getting swept out to sea, getting into difficulty swimming, or drowning. The lifeguard will instantly respond and try to save the person. They have a variety of equipment available to assist with this, they simply have to choose the fastest route to the person in difficulty.
Alongside this, they watch the beach to ensure there is no unusual behaviour. This can include people being harassed or simply being unsafe in the sun.
A lifeguard’s role is to educate the public. If they see any issue on the beach they will talk to the person or people regarding beach safety. In fact, lifeguards are often asked to visit local schools and share their knowledge to help keep children safe at the beach.
In general, a surf lifesaver will be in a distinctive red and yellow uniform. In contrast, the lifeguard can be in a variety of colours because this is chosen by the local council.
Lifeguards and surf lifesavers work together because they ultimately have just one goal, to save lives. They are both well trained and will constantly survey the beach and sea to eliminate any hazards and keep all beach users safe.