A new inflatable rescue boat was presented to the Salt Surf Life Saving Club yesterday just in time for the start of the surf season.
The new $12,000 Thundercat 388 Inflatable Rescue Boat was presented to president Mark Humphries by Tweed mayor Barry Longland in his capacity as the chairman of the Tweed Coast Holiday Parks.
The council-owned holiday parks donated $6,500 to help purchase the IRB, while the remaining $5,500 was provided by Surf Life Saving NSW.
‘It will equip the growing Salt club with a faster and safer rescue boat, to help patrol the village’s increasingly popular beach,’ Mr Longland said.
A recent audit found one of the club’s existing two IRBs was nearing the end of its lifespan as a certified rescue boat and needed to be replaced.
Mr Humphries said each surf life saving club was required to have two IRBs on hand, so priority was given to replacing the older boat.
‘A growing population between Kingscliff and Cabarita Beach means the number of people using Salt beach will continue to grow,’ he said.
‘While our club is enjoying a steady rise in membership to more than 250, including a significant increase in the number of patrolling members and nippers, we need good quality equipment to effectively provide patrols.
‘IRBs are the primary vessel for surf rescues because they can get out through the surf quickly and can be used to save multiple people at the same time.’
He said the donations for the replacement boat spared surf club members the time-consuming task of fundraising.
‘It frees them up to properly prepare for a new season of patrols, which begin in a couple of weeks’ time,’ he said.
Mr Longland said Tweed Coast Holiday Parks was extremely keen to support beach safety in the Tweed.
‘Having well patrolled beaches is a massive asset for the community and for Tweed Coast Holiday Parks, which has its parks located along the Tweed’s coastline,’ he said.
‘There is tremendous assurance for beachgoers to know there are skilled people on hand to protect them and they have the right equipment to do the job.’