135 Pink Rescue Buoys were installed in high risk areas, of these 10 were removed but 4 were soon returned. 11 Lives Saved. (as at end Feb 2018)
Rule number one for a safe experience at the beach is to choose a beach that has lifeguards on duty and to swim between their flags. That way you don’t need to worry about rip currents, or suddenly getting out of your depth. Putting an arm in the air and waving for help will get a rapid response from the Lifeguards on duty.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, people regularly swim where there are no lifeguards on duty. This may be on a beach after the Lifeguard’s duty has finished or at a beach that does not have lifeguards.
This is where things can go badly wrong.
Many, if not most people who visit our beaches do not know what rip currents are, or that they are the biggest danger that swimmers face. It is all too often that Sea Rescue gets an emergency call for a swimmer in difficulty and when we get there, we find two or more people in danger of drowning. Tragically sometimes we are not able to get there in time and someone does drowns. Often the person who does not survive is the kind person who goes into the water to try and help a person in difficulty.
Because this happens so often, Sea Rescue launched our Pink Rescue Buoy project in November 2017. These bright Pink Rescue Buoys are hung on strategically placed signs and we hope that they will remind people to take care when entering water – and not to swim if lifeguards are not on duty.
If there is an incident and someone needs help these buoys can be thrown to that person, providing emergency floatation. There are clear graphics on the sign which explain how to use the Buoy. And most importantly, the emergency number for the closest Sea Rescue station is printed on the sign. If the rescuer decides, against advise, to enter the water the Pink Rescue Buoy provides floatation for that person as well as for the casualty.
Many people are concerned that the Pink Buoys will be removed from the signs but, as expected, that has not been a major problem. Of the 10 Pink Buoys that were removed by pranksters 4 were returned within days, leaving us to replace only 6.
By the end of February 2018, with the help of generous sponsorship, we had deployed 135 Pink Rescue Buoys and they have saved 11 people. Eleven lives saved. That is something to be proud of.
For this project to work we need you and your community to take ownership of your Pink Buoy. We can save lives together.