Ballina coast guard volunteer Lorraine Leuckel (left) instructs a CPR training workshop at the Ballina Beach Village at South Ballina last Sunday.
Ballina coast guard volunteer Lorraine Leuckel (left) instructs a CPR training workshop at the Ballina Beach Village at South Ballina last Sunday.

Efforts to make beach safer

THE tragedy of the double drowning at South Ballina Beach last month prompted a CPR training day on Sunday.

However, Ballina Beach Resort Village co-owner Rikki Grinberg said it was an event that would have happened anyhow.

Ms Grinberg said the ‘fantastic community’ of South Ballina was committed to making their part of the world a safer place.

The Ballina coast guard has also launched a campaign to buy a defibrillator – a heart-starting device – for the community.

Ms Grinberg was pleased 40 people turned up to the CPR training day run by coast guard volunteers with support from members of the Ballina Jet Boat Rescue.

The participants also learned how to use a defibrillator.

It followed the drownings of Sydney tourists Joe and Carole Sherry last month at a time when the beach wasn’t patrolled.

“We want to improve the safety for residents and visitors to South Ballina,” Ms Grinberg said.

“We are a major tourist destination and safety is a primary concern for tourism providers.”

Ms Grinberg said many of the workshop participants didn’t come from South Ballina, but had travelled over the Richmond River from Ballina.

She said people as young as six and as old as 70 attended.

Lorraine Leuckel is the coast guard’s first-aid officer.

“No matter what your age you can learn CPR,” she said.

“It is a skill everyone should have.”

Another training day has been planned for May 16 at the Ballina Beach Village.

Meanwhile, $1200 has been already pledged by businesses in the effort to buy a defibrillator for the South Ballina community.

Ms Grinberg said a defibrillator costs about $2900.

A fundraising night, hosted by the coast guard, will be held at the caravan park on March 27.

The feature of the night will be a performance by the Utopian Fire artists from 7pm.

Tickets to the event cost $15 and all funds will go towards the coast guard’s fundraising campaign for the defibrillator.

For more information on the event, or to buy a ticket, phone the Ballina Beach Village at South Ballina on 6686 3447.



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