Graduates from the recently conducted Bronze Medallion Course devoted a great deal of their free time and lots of hard work to gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to become a lifesaver.
So what prompted participants from diverse walks of life to give up hours of their time each weekend to train in surf resuscitation skills?
For student, and
keen fisherman, Jasper Dulhunty it was the challenge and excitement of learning to drive surf powercraft including the IRB and jet ski that motivated him.
In fact, Dulhunty is one of several graduates from the 2014 Bronze Medallion course who has already unertaken further skills development as a crew person for the IRB.
He along with fellow graduates spent their Saturday in the IRB’s slamming in and out of the surf break, performing rescues and generally learning to negotiate the surf in a small, powerful inflatable craft.
Matt Harvey and Warren Jones found their way into the Surf Club through their children being actively involved in the junior surf lifesaving development program - Nippers.
They spent several years generously contributing their time and energy into providing support, training and coordination for the program.
As their commitment and interest in surf lifesaving grew they chose to take the plunge this year and undertake the course.
Junior lifesaving development was also the starting point for secondary student and talented singer/guitarist Hannah Fernandez.
She first participated in the junior development program and moved on to complete her Surf Rescue Certificate.
When the opportunity arose to undertake further training in the form of the Bronze, Fernandez jumped at the chance.
She loves the ocean and swimming which partly motivated her.
Moreover her desire to posess the knowledge and skills to be able to rescue someone was her greatest drive.
Having a friend, Chloe Campbell to undertake the training with also provided the incentive and fun she was looking for.
“It was tough,” Fernandez said.
“It was physically demanding and a lot of commitment was needed.”
But she felt that it was well worth the sacrifice.
“I’m so much fitter and confident now and have a real sense of accomplishment,” she said.
Having been a surfer for many years, Toby Jennings was motivated to undertake the training given his affinity with the ocean and a desire to contribute to the community.
He found the course less daunting than those without his experience in the ocean.
Jennings loves being out cruising the break on the rescue board and his surfing skills and ocean confidence certainly hold him in good stead for the life saving role.
Surfers make excellent lifesavers with their skills being particularly transferable to board rescues.
The 2014 Bronze Medallion cohort are now playing an active role on patrols.
Their efforts are valued by the Pambula Surf Life Saving Club, as is the commitment of the training team who similarly gave up much of their leisure time to develop the club’s newest lifesavers.