COMMUNITY SPIRIT: The Sawtell Surf Club members are grateful for receiving a club grant of close to $10,000 from the Sawtell RSL
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: The Sawtell Surf Club members are grateful for receiving a club grant of close to $10,000 from the Sawtell RSL Rachel Vercoe

Life saving season in full swing

THEY'RE the ones sitting back, keeping an eye out and always ready to move into action when trouble starts.

The Sawtell Surf Club is grateful for receiving a club grant of close to $10,000 from their neighbour, the Sawtell RSL club to help continue their great work.

Putting money back into the community every year, Sawtell RSL club general manager Greg Agius said the club really looks to support as much as they can in Sawtell.

With the money received, the surf club has fitted out their ute with quick release roof racks for the rescue board, a radio and a PA system. They also purchased buoys, boards and a TV to help train nippers and lifesavers.

"Everything we got is to help train and make our people more proficient in the water," Sawtell Surf club vice president Leanne Stewart said.

"It costs us over $100,000 to operate our club each year and we're a non-for-profit organisation so we're always looking for ways to get funding to help maintain our rescue gear which needs replacing every couple of years.

"We need to have reliable rescue gear for patrolling and training.

"It's good to work within the community and we've got lots of support here which is fantastic."

Sawtell Surf club member Shannon Wilson said: "The new equipment allows us to perform our duties."

"We've got an obligation to surf life saving Australia, we've got a commitment and this enables us to do that."

Surf life saving duties have started for the season with a rescue being performed on the first day, three weeks ago when a swimmer was blown out to sea, requiring lifesaver assistance.

"We're coming out of winter so a lot of people haven't been in the water for half a year. They come out, jump in and their skills are not the best at this stage," Shannon said.

A presentation will be held tomorrow at the Sawtell Surf club to thank the RSL and new and old members will enjoy the return of the nippers season where children learn the skills to grow up and become life savers.

If your child is interested in becoming a nipper and is five years old, head on down to the Sawtell Surf club tomorrow morning.

A bronze medallion course will also start tomorrow for over 16-year-olds and run for around eight weeks.

Successful participants will become patrolling members.