Young surf lifesavers from the Evans Head-Casino Surf Life Saving Club. From left, Jacob Harcourt, 16, Rachael Redman, 15, and Aidan Yourell, 16.
Young surf lifesavers from the Evans Head-Casino Surf Life Saving Club. From left, Jacob Harcourt, 16, Rachael Redman, 15, and Aidan Yourell, 16. Cathy Adams

Councillor works to assist shark attack first responders

SURF Life-Saving Far North Coast has welcomed a proposed move by Ballina Shire Council to help assist branches respond to shark attacks.

Councillor Sharon Cadwallader proposed in her notice of motion for Thursday night's council meeting to "provide extra funding for equipment and patrols to Ballina Shire's first responders being Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Surf Life Saving."

Surf Life-Saving Far North Coast director, Chris Sammuels is grateful for Cr Cadawallder's effort to support surf life-savers across the region.

"It's great, it's very positive to hear comments like that being made and that we are getting acknowledged for the work that we are doing," Mr Sammuels said.

"It (shark attacks) puts a lot of stress on our gear and on our members, constantly being called out to these shark events.

"The support that we are starting to get now is fantastic, it's just the extra help that we need to keep this equipment on the beach for these kind of things, plus just our general patrols over the summer period ensuring swimmers are safe."

Mr Sammuels said surf life-savers are called on to respond to shark attacks despite the majority of attacks occurring outside patrol hours and beaches.

"We are still responding to all of these incidents that are outside patrolled hours via out emergency response system," he said.

Cr Cadwallader hopes the proposal -coupled with the roll out of shark nets - will help retain surf life-saving volunteers and nippers on our beaches in light of surf life-saving memberships falling across the region.



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