In response to numerous letters recently concerning surf life saving at Byron Bay, I want to clarify that although the Byron Bay Surf Club has a good relationship with the Byron Shire Council and all its staff we do not receive any monetary funding from council for lifesaving duties or equipment.
We are a 100 per cent voluntary organisation relying on supporters and sponsors to fund our cause. Without their aid we would simply not exist. To all our generous sponsors, large or small, we thank you for your continued assistance.
The Byron Bay Surf club operates under the direction of our governing body, Surf Life Saving Australia, which determines the hours and area in which we operate.
Please bear in mind these are volunteers, well-trained in first aid, CPR and lifesaving skills giving up their weekends and public holidays to look after beachgoers.
The Byron Shire Council contracts professional lifeguards from Australian Lifeguard Services, a private entity, to patrol beaches on weekdays and some beaches in the busy periods over summer. I am not sure how much they are paid.
Both the volunteers and the Australian Lifeguard employees wear similar red and yellow uniforms; I know it is hard to distinguish between the two. I can assure you they are all there for surf safety.
I invite anybody interested in becoming a member or wishing to contribute to come along to any of the surf clubs in the region. I am sure you will be more than welcomed.
President, Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club.