Surf Safety Education

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Surf Safety Education

Coffs Harbour City Council's professional ocean lifeguards provide various surf education talks within local schools, clubs and groups each year.

Some of the programs on offer include:

  
Description
  

​The purpose of this program is to make students more aware of beach safety and to ensure they know what to do if they get into trouble in the water.

The one-hour talk covers the following topics: 

  • Sun Safety - a breakdown of how important it is to protect yourself from the sun when at the beach.

  • General surf safety - recognition of flags, signs, life savers & lifeguard requests.

  • River, creek and dam safety when swimming.

  • Rescue equipment and methods - what to do, how to use it, how to assist life savers and/or lifeguards.

  • First Aid - different animals, blue bottles, blue ringed octopus, box jellyfish etc.

  • Recognition of dangerous conditions - rips, large waves, creek and river mouths, rocks etc.

  • How to escape from strong currents - rips etc.

  • Surf skills - surf swimming, catching waves, dolphining.

  • The onset of panic  - what to do if you need to be rescued.

  

OSSA was developed in consultation with the DET NSW School Surfing Association to provide students with an introduction to safe surfing competencies which are required for participation in school surfing activity. 

OSSA practical skills include completion of:

  • Introduction to surf craft riding (either surfboard or body board) by paddling, negotiating the wave zone, catching a wave, recovering lost craft and returning to shore.

  • Introduction to surf craft rescues using personal surf craft.

  • Identify potential hazards in the marine coastal environment.

  • Demonstrate patient assessment (DRSABC) and simulated resuscitation techniques.

  • Theory assessment and participation in group discussions, undertake private study, view audio-visual presentations and complete written tasks using worksheets that relate to surfing in coastal environments

  

​OSSA was developed in consultation with the DET NSW School Surfing Association to provide students with an introduction to safe surfing competencies which are required for participation in school surfing activity.

  • 200m swim in a pool of no less than 25m long in under 5-minutes.

  • Demonstrate competency in surf craft riding (either surfboard, body board or wave ski) by paddling, negotiating the wave zone, catching a wave, recovering lost craft and returning to shore.

  • Completion of a Surf Mission set as an M-shape course commencing with 200m swim, followed by 200m beach run, followed by 200m surf craft paddle and concluding with a 200m beach run.  This mission demonstrates fitness and competence in negotiating the surf and controlled riding of waves.

  • Demonstrate surf craft rescues using personal surf craft.

  • Identify potential hazards in the marine coastal environment.

  • Demonstrate patient assessment (DRABC) and simulated resuscitation techniques.

  • Participate in simulated emergency management scenarios.

  • Theory assessment and participation in group discussions, undertake private study, view audio-visual presentations and complete written tasks using worksheets that relate to surfing in coastal environments.

  • Topics include wave and rip formations, weather,  beach topography, rock platforms, hazard identification, surfing strategies, rescue, first aid, resuscitation, care and respect for the natural inshore coastal environment and other ocean users. 

 

    Council Lifeguard's also conduct the School Surfing Supervisor Award (SSSA) and Ocean Safety Surf Coach Award (OSSCA).   

    Resources and References:

    • APOLA, OSSA Teachers Manual, 2005
    • Classroom Video, Safe Surf, 2002
    • NSW DET, Excursions Policy (PD/2004/0010/V003), 25 October 2004
    • NSW DET, Guidelines for specific sports and physical activities, 2011. 
    • SLSA, Surf Survival, 1986
    • Surfing Australia, Safe Surfing Workbook, 2001

       
    OSSA Safety Surfer Award

    OSSA Surfer Safety Award