Jimmy Keough, Surf Life Saving Far North Coast.
Jimmy Keough, Surf Life Saving Far North Coast. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

SLSC ‘exhausted’ as resources stretched

SURF lifesavers have called for more resources on the Tweed after the second drowning tragedy in five months at Fingal Head.

Burleigh Heads accountant Ryan Martin has been hailed a hero after giving his life to save a young girl, 7, and her mother caught in a rip at the trecherous headland on Friday afternoon.

Surf Life Saving Far North Coast emergency service co-ordinator Jimmy Keough said the Far North Coast branch had secured almost $150,000 from sponsors for two new, desperately-needed 4WD vehicles, but those support vehicles had been under the pump all summer.

Pottsville dad-to-be Luke Robinson, who himself nearly drowned while trying to help alongside Mr Martin on Friday, told the Gold Coast Bulletin paid full-time lifeguards could help to prevent future tragedies.

But Tweed Shire Council general manager Troy Green said there weren’t enough funds to protect every inch of the Tweed’s 33km coastline.

He said it was counterintuitive to pay for services on beaches renowned for strong rips.

“If we were going to increase lifeguard patrols it would be at Kingscliff,” Mr Green said.

Mr Keough said today volunteers were “exhausted” from a busy season.

“It has been a long, tiresome summer for them,” he said.

“There has been a recruitment drive which has been successful in gaining some new members... but there are still further personnel required.

“It has been extremely busy for them for the last four days.”

Mr Keough said much of the Far North Coast’s budgeted funds had been directed into shark attack risk mitigation.

Fingal Head SLSC is still seeking $260,000 to finish club renovations, and needs more volunteers.

To donate or volunteer, visit fingalroversslsc.com.au.



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