Australian Lifeguard Service recruit Garrett Parkes, from Byron Bay, at training at Lifeguard school in Lennox Head.
Australian Lifeguard Service recruit Garrett Parkes, from Byron Bay, at training at Lifeguard school in Lennox Head. Marc Stapelberg

Recruits in training to protect our beaches

FOR Australian Lifeguard Service recruits Teagan McFarlane and Garrett Parkes, helping people and hanging out at the beach are two great reasons to go through the Australian Far North Coast Lifeguard School.

Mr Parkes, a Byron Bay resident, said he had learnt a number of different skills at the school from setting up a beach, as well as different rescue techniques, and different procedures including radio networking and working with superiors.

"There have been lots of different skills that I haven't learnt before and hopefully take them to the summer and the beaches and do well,” he said.

Recruit Teagan McFarlane, of Yamba, who is now studying on the Gold Coast, was also part of the 12 new recruits from the Clarence to the Tweed being put through a rigorous school outlining what it means to be entrusted with this position of responsibility.

The Australian Lifeguard Service held the training at The Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre in Lennox Head this week.

"Today and this whole weekend are really about training us up and giving us the tools to go out and manage a beach,” Ms McFarlane said.

"I love the water, love the waves and love the sun but it is really rewarding helping people,” she said.

"I like the satisfaction that you have gone in and helped someone or you have put a band aid on someone's knee.”

Ms McFarlane's first rescue took place when she was 14 and had just signed on for patrol.

She had noticed two children out in the water at Yamba and sensing something she decided to go for a paddle.

Once there she discovered that they were in fact in trouble and she was able to pull them onto her board.

"I went in for a paddle and it turned into a rescue.”

Lifeguard Education co-ordinator Ruben Roxburgh said they annually had people want to join up and it was a matter of being able to go through the theoretical as well as the practical component.

"It is a full package program and it takes a special sort of person to come on the beaches over the summer and take care of the community,” he said.



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