Patrol Information

Patrol times vary throughout the year but primarily are from 9am to 1pm (Morning Shift) and from 1pm to 5pm (Afternoon Shift). The Club/Council agreement on the Patrol Room notice board provides full patrol time details.

If you are on an AM patrol please arrive for patrol 15 minutes prior to 9am so the patrol is ready to start at 9am sharp. Be prepared to stay a little after the completion of a PM patrol to ensure the equipment is cleaned and putaway, say 20 to 30 minutes.

If you cannot make a patrol you must find an equally qualified substitute, and inform your Patrol Captain of the change

PATROL OBLIGATIONS                                                                 

It is your responsibility to:

  • ensure you are a financial member of the Club (otherwise you’re not insured)
  • complete annual proficiency tests for each of your life saving awards (prior to the 31st December)
  • wear full patrol uniform
  • complete all of your rostered patrols, or arrange substitutes
  • Participate in, contribute toward your patrol by supporting your Patrol Captain and remaining vigilant.

If you cannot make a patrol you must:

find an equally qualified substitute, and inform your Patrol Captain of the change


Patrol uniforms will be supplied by the Club.

As detailed below, full patrol uniform is required by our OH&S policy, it is NOT optional:

  • patrol cap (red/yellow skull cap)
  • patrol shorts
  • patrol shirt
  • swimming costumes







For personal safety and public image, we ask patrol members to wear:

  • a wide brimmed hat or peaked cap
  • SPF 30+ sunscreen
  • UV rated sunglasses


The Patrol Captain is to allocate patrol members to carry out the following.

  1. Read paperwork from previous patrol (i.e. patrol, radio and IRB logs)
  2. Check and place rescue equipment on beach. Minimum – 2 x rescue tubes, 2 x rescue boards
  3. IRB driver and crewperson to prepare IRB for patrol duty and ensure backup boat is ready if needed. Fill in IRB log book.
  4. Check Quad / Bobcat fuel before transporting IRB to waters edge. Only members with a drivers’ license, permission of the Patrol Captain AND have completed the ATV proficiency are permitted to drive the ATV.
  5. Erect “Surfcraft Access Area” signs. The IRB must be launched and beached between these.
  6. Check gear and transport it to the beach:
    • 2 x black and white flags
    • 2 x red/yellow flags
    • loud hailer
    • one shark alarm flag
    • swim flippers
    • portable first aid kit
    • spinal board and cervical collar
    • signalling flags
    • at least two whistles
    • sunscreen
    • 2 x portable radios in waterproof bags
    • patrol log book
    • Oxy-viva
  7. Perform a radio check on all radios and check the loud hailer is working. Record check (and any problems) in the radio log book.
  8. Sign on with SurfCom and record such in the radio log book.
  9. Perform routine check of the oxy-viva equipment (including bottle level). Record details on the bottle with chalk and ensure unit is ready for later use. Check spare bottles.
  10. Check adequate supplies in portable first aid kit. Notify first aid officer of any missing items.
  11. Patrol Captain (or delegate) only to fill in and oversee the signing of the patrol log book. Any make up or voluntary patrols must be filled in by the Patrol Captain only. Permission must be gained from the Patrol Captain to do such patrols.
  12. In conjunction with the Council Lifeguards, Patrol Captain in consultation with patrol members, and from an elevated area, to select the safest area of the beach for the patrol.
  13. Under supervision of the Patrol Captain, patrol members to physically test (ie. swim) the selected patrol area before the flags are positioned.
  14. Once flags are up, erect the patrol tent and place the first air, defib’, spinal board, etc. in it’s shade.
  15. Position the rescue equipment where it may be required (e.g. near patrol flags & strong rips).
  16. Patrol Captains are to ensure all patrol members are wearing caps and full patrol uniforms.



  • The Patrol Captain is in charge of all operations in the event of a rescue and his / her instructions are to be promptly followed.
  • All patrol members are required to remain on the beach in the patrol area or in any other designated area authorised by the Patrol Captain.
  • A Patrol Member shall not leave the area unless approved by the Patrol Captain or relieved by another Club member.
  • Active supervision of the patrol area is to occur at all times is essential.
  • Water’s edge patrol supervision, with whistle, is essential whenever swimmers are in the water. During busy times several Patrol Members are to be positioned at the water’s edge, preferably near each patrol flag.
  • Under certain conditions (eg. a group of poor swimmers) a Patrol Member may need to be placed on a board, out behind the break to strengthen patrol surveillance and response time.
  • Patrol Members must take steps to keep swimmers between the red and yellow patrol flags and to keep surf craft users outside of the blue buffer flags.
  • LYING DOWN, SUNBAKING, READING THE PAPER, OUT THE BACK SURFING, etc., are not part of patrol duties. Also, they do not foster good public relations. If you feel you need a break then see your Patrol Captain.
  • It is vital that surf conditions are monitored carefully at all times. If conditions change it may be necessary to move the flags.
  • If the tide is going out you should move the flags and equipment closer to the waters edge.
  • The Patrol Captain should arrange for regular IRB and Gator surveillance runs to occur. This will also provide valuable training for patrol members.
  • Record all radio communication, first aid, patrol changes, incidents in the relevant log book.
  • In the case of a major incident (e.g. major first aid or drowning) further forms may need to be completed. The Club Captain should be contacted in this instance.


The Patrol Captain should allocate Patrol Members to carry out the following duties at the end of patrols

  1. Pack up all gear and transport back to the Clubhouse.
  2. Wash off and pack away all rescue / patrol equipment ready for the next patrol.
  3. Sign off with SurfCom and complete radio log book. Make sure all the day’s communications have been logged. Please record in the log book, any problems with the radio equipment. Report damages / major problems to Club Radio Officer Robert Walker
  4. Clean all radios as required and place them in their recharges in the patrol room. Make sure the radios are turned off completely before they are placed in the rechargers.
  5. Clean and return portable first aid kit and sunscreen to the First Aid Room. Ensure that any materials used are replaced. Make sure all incidents and materials used are recorded in the patrol logbook. In the case of a major incident (eg major first aid or drowning) further forms may need to be completed. The Club Captain should be contacted in this instance.
  6. Pack away the oxy-viva equipment. Do not wipe chalk off the bottle, leave it for the next patrol.
  7. Clean and wash down IRB and motor and store, ready for next patrol
  8. Fill in IRB log book. Make sure to record all details including any breakages, motor problems and training activities.


( Matt O’Connor  0431 486 553)

  1. Patrol Captain to complete and check all details in the log book ensuring all patrol members have accurately signed on and off. They must then rule off the book.
  2. Ensure patrol room, first aid room and Clubhouse is secured upon leaving.


IMMEDIATELY TO THE Director of Lifesaving