Rescue – the Australian surf boats

Black and white photo of wooden lifeboat on beach

Boofa at the North Curl Curl SLSC

Famous throughout Australia as a symbol of the surf, surf clubs and the surf lifesaving movement, the surf lifesaving boat is an Australian class of boat evolved to suit the coastal beaches. It has since found its way to other countries, such as New Zealand, which have also developed a strong surfing tradition. It is rowed by a crew under the command of the sweep, who stands aft steering with a long sweep oar over the transom.

The craft became a distinct vessel in 1913 when the Manly Club in Sydney acquired a boat that then became the standard model. Prior to this the other boats that had been used included vessels similar to the Royal National Lifesaving Society craft in the UK and a variety of other local craft such as butcher boats and whalers, with mixed success. Continue reading

Rescue at Coogee Beach

As this is the last week to see the Rescue exhibition, we thought we’d share a recent interview with Cassandra Scott, who experienced rescue first-hand at Coogee Beach, reiiterating the vital role our emergency services organisations play in keeping us safe.

Photo of Cassandra Scott

Cassandra was rescued by complete strangers at Coogee Beach in 2012.

Tell us about your rescue experience. What happened?

On 12 December 2012 complete strangers worked together at Coogee Beach to rescue me, to bring me back to life after I had drowned and was without a pulse for 15 minutes. A stranger, Neil pulled me out of the surf at Coogee beach where I was floating face down, with no pulse, blue and bloated with lips of deep purple. Olivier, another stranger came to help assisted by another and they worked together, laying me on my side, clearing my mouth and pumping my lungs. Continue reading