Surf lifesavers Julia O’Brien, Erica Ricketts and Ines Kharoumi clean up in North Booval.
Surf lifesavers Julia O’Brien, Erica Ricketts and Ines Kharoumi clean up in North Booval. Claudia Baxter

Clubbies join Booval clean-up

SURF lifesavers from the Sunshine Coast joined the flood relief effort in Ipswich yesterday, as bus-loads of volunteers poured into the city.

About 120 members of Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club (MSLSC) left club headquarters at 6am to join hundreds of other volunteers helping Ipswich's flood victims.

“Members were ringing me saying, ‘How can we help?'” club president Tim Ryan said.

“After 72 calls on Saturday we got it organised.

“We knocked back 60 people because we only had four buses to take them.

“Staff on their RDO are here as well.”

The MSLSC members were spread around North Booval, helping clean up people's rubbish and also helping feed residents and other volunteers.

They set up tents on people's footpaths, cooked up egg-and-bacon sandwiches and the like, handed out bottles of water and listened.

“The beauty of it is we are self-sufficient,” Mr Ryan said.

“It rips your heart out, the stories you hear.”

MSLSC general manager Kerry Taylor said some people were surprised to see surf lifesavers in Ipswich, but it wasn't that unusual.

“We're in the business of emergency services and this is an emergency service,” Mr Taylor said.

“I've been in the club since 1962 and there's always been Ipswich people in the club.

He said Ipswich City Council suggested they go to North Booval because it was one of the worst-hit by the floods.

“A lot of our people have been pretty shocked by what they've seen.

“We were going to come here on the weekend but we thought we'd have more impact if we came during the week when other people had gone back to work.”



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