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 when things can go wrong.
In a typical scenario 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 drowns. Usually the person who does not survive is the kind person who went into the water to try and help a person in difficulty.
Because this happens so frequently, Sea Rescue launched our Pink Rescue Buoy project in November 2017.
These bright Pink Rescue Buoys, which conform to the AUNZ standard of 100 Newtons of flotation, 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 flotation.
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 anyone decides, against advice, to enter the water the Pink Rescue Buoy provides flotation for that person as well as for the casualty.
As at February 2020 over 600, Pink Rescue Buoys have been installed and 57 people have been assisted using a Pink Buoy since Nov 2017. That is something to be proud of.
A Pink Rescue Buoy should be on its pole or used in a rescue. If you see someone with a Pink Rescue Buoy, and they are not a Sea Rescue volunteer who is in uniform, the Pink Buoy is probably stolen. Please report them to us on 0870949774 or firstname.lastname@example.org