Spending summer at the beach is a time-honoured Australian tradition – and this summer already looks like it’ll be one of the hottest, sunniest summers in years! 

However, are you sure you’d know what to do if there was a beach emergency? Team Building With Purpose has teamed up with Surf Life Saving NSW to educate you about the most important beach safety tips you and your team need to know before you and the kids hit the sand! 

Beach safety starts at home

Some of the most important elements of beach safety start at home. Before you head to the beach, check the following:

  • Is the beach open or closed?
  • Is the beach patrolled by lifesavers today?
  • Are there any hazards like rip currents, bluebottles or large waves?
  • What is the UV rating for the day?

You can check all these details and more via the Beachsafe app, available for iOS and Android platforms.

Pack the right gear

Make sure you have everything you need for the beach you’re heading to. Remember, not every beach will have a cafe or surf club nearby, so it’s better to pack too much than too little. Essentials include:

  • Sunscreen (apply 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply regularly during the day)
  • Swimwear – do not swim in normal clothes as these can become waterlogged and heavy
  • Hats
  • Plenty of water and fluids to keep you hydrated (not alcohol)
  • Food 
  • Beach towels/mats
  • A gazebo, sun umbrella, beach tent or other shade
  • Beach toys and games, boogie boards and more for everyone to have fun!

Staying safe at the beach

Once you get to the beach, follow a few simple rules to stay safe.

  • Look for beach safety signs – lifesavers place signs on the beach to let you know of any dangers that may be present in the water.
  • Say hello to a lifesaver. When you arrive at the beach, go and say hello to the lifesavers – they are there to help! 
  • Always swim between the red & yellow flags: Lifesavers place the flags where it is safe to swim and they will be observing this area and will notice if you need help.
  • Never swim alone. Always accompany your kids in the water. If you go into the water, by yourself, let someone know where you are.
  • Learn how to spot a rip and keep clear of it. A rip can be recognised by sand-coloured or rippled water running out to sea when the water on either side is generally cleaner. The waves may also be larger and breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip.
  • If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm and raise your arm for help. Try to float and if you feel you are being pulled away from the shore avoid trying to swim against the current – this will only make you tired and unable to stay afloat.
  • In an emergency, call triple zero (000). If you cannot swim, do not try to rescue other people who are in trouble. If a lifesaver is not available, call triple zero (000).
  • You can help someone by throwing them something to hold onto like a board or a cooler box. Many beaches have red flotation devices installed for public use.

Beach safety isn’t all we can learn from SLS NSW…

Surf Life Saving NSW is one of the biggest volunteer networks in Australia, marshaling and training over 20,000 volunteer lifesavers every year. Team Building With Purpose has partnered with SLS NSW to create a unique team building event – the Corporate Lifesavers Challenge. 

This event provides insight into the charity and provides the opportunity to self-reflect and draw parallels from how Surf Life Saving NSW operates with their own team and work environments. Key elements include:

  • understanding what makes a great team member; 
  • learning from beach safety to better navigate problems at work; and 
  • celebrating the power of belonging to a strong community culture and using these insights to brainstorm practical ways to work better as a team.

In addition, every Corporate Lifesavers Challenge event helps to support Surf Life Saving NSW, they receive 50% of the net profit from every session, which translates to at least $500 plus GST for every session. So, your people are also making a financial difference to Surf Life Saving NSW, and helping to save lives.

So, why not book a Team Building With Purpose/SLS NSW Corporate Lifesavers Challenge event for the early days of 2024, while the memories of the beach are fresh in your team members’ minds. 

It’s an unparalleled opportunity to capture that New Year energy, unite your team like never before, and create meaningful, accountable New Year’s resolutions for your team. To discuss the Corporate Lifesavers Challenge or any of our other team-building events, contact us today.