The session began with a bone-chilling account of some of the nasties that can live in the waters. It would seem obvious that the local crocodiles and sharks (predominantly Reef and Hammerheads) but the reality is the Irukandji and Box Jellyfish are the concerns (Kate didn’t mention the deadly sea snakes either). A brief background on the role of surf lifesaving, the meaning of the flags and a few rescue stories later and it was time to get into some Surf Sport action. What better way than to start with a simulated rescue with flotation aids, Hasselhoff (and Pamela) style.
Surf sport is popular in Australia and supported by the Australian Sports Commission, made most famous by the nationally televised Ironmen and women competitions with the stars reaching household name status. From Nippers (under 14s) up to veteran categories, and across many more disciplines from board paddling to boat racing and flag racing, the sport covers a wide range of competitors. The tour group got to try their hand at board paddling (only a few capsizes) and flag races. Check out the video for some of the action.
The North Queensland branch of Surf Life Saving Queensland were very accommodating even providing the groups with posters, water bottles and a book recording the history of a local Surf Life Club, Ellis Beach. Our thanks to Kate and crew.