New lifeguard recruits are trained and ready to begin patrolling our beaches

THERE will be some new faces patrolling our beaches during the upcoming lifeguard season and busy school holiday period.

More than 20 new guards from across NSW converged on Port Macquarie to attend the town’s lifeguard school.

It was a big induction into what lifeguarding is all about, including how to manage a beach and how the business side of things works, head lifeguard James Turnham explained.

“When they apply they all know what to expect, but it does open up their eyes to the professionalism of the service,” he said.

“They aren’t just sitting on the beach watching the water. There is a lot more involved.

“The water and fitness side of things is only a small part of what is required. Beach management is a huge part of what we do.

“The guys have put a lot of effort into their training and qualifications. They all have their certificates in first aid, advanced CPR, their silver and gold medallion as well as the bronze to be a lifeguard.”

Over three days the recruits were put through their paces both mentally and physically, in the classroom and on the sand.

“We did a few beach scenarios, both practical and theory, which is something we do throughout the season,” Mr Turnham said.

“Public communication is a massive part of our job as well. They all enjoyed it from what I was told.”

A handful of those new recruits will be on our beaches this season, and will forever be learning and training.

“There are a lot of things that they have to keep on top of when they begin as an official lifeguard,” Mr Turnham said.

“They will constantly be working on their confidence, especially for first timers. Soon enough it all becomes natural.

“I can guarantee we have the best guards we possibly can on the beaches.

“We would never put someone on the beach that wasn’t capable, so the community and everyone who visits Port Macquarie can be assured they will have a very safe time on the beach.”

The season officially starts on Saturday, September 23. There will be six beaches patrolled over the holidays.


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