Lessons Learnt

We are about continuous improvement and a no-blame culture, Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s plan to share learnings and decision-making examples from actual incidents and accidents that our members have experienced, to avoid avoidable accidents.

In early September as our volunteer surf lifeguards started returning to training and jumping back into the IRB we had a surf lifeguard taking part in an organised IRB crewpersons training session with their SLSC on their home beach. This member was a trainee crewperson with an experienced IRB driver when they approached a small ½ metre broken wave, the crewperson’s right foot slipped from where it was resting on the fuel bladder, slipping back and becoming wedged between the side pontoon and the floorboard....Click here for the full review.

On a nice sunny day in the southern region, a school was enjoying the water component of Beach Education when a child fell over near an in-water Beach Education instructor. The instructor witnessed the child get knocked over by a wave, find their feet, stand back up, and continue playing in the waves. Another wave soon knocked over the same child. The Instructor approached, picked the child up, and noticed they were showing some mild respiratory distress (coughing, elevated respiration rate). Click here for the full review.

Recently, at a Northern Region beach, an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) driver was out on patrol with two 14-year-old female crewpersons. The IRB driver identified that the purpose of their training was to enhance the crewpersons’ time and experience in the IRB. The training specifically involved parallel running, ins and outs in the surf, and some patient pick-ups in the surf. Click here for the full review.

Two club members had decided to enter their local Long Hull Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Event in the coming weeks. The driver had raced IRBs previously, although not for some time, and the crewperson hadn’t raced IRBs before but was comfortable and qualified to crew the IRB. They decided to have a training session on a Sunday afternoon with a focus on getting boat fit/ready and practicing their starts off the beach. Click here for the full review. 

During a coordinated and combined IRB Crewpersons Training Module held on the weekend of August 26th and 27th at a Southern Region Beach, two clubs came together for an IRB Crewpersons course. Day one was designated as an instructional day, while day two focused on training continuation and the assessment of the crewpersons. The preparation for the weekend received support from the SLSNZ Southern Region Lifesaving Manager.

Throughout Saturday, two injuries occurred, and on Sunday, two additional injuries were reported. All injuries involved trainee crewpersons, with two sustaining ankle injuries (1 sprain and 1 fracture), one experiencing a foot fracture, and another enduring a ruptured thumb ligament. Read more here.