Businesses urged to become water safety ambassadors

Published on 05 December 2019

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Businesses in the Surf Coast Shire are being asked to become Water Safety Ambassadors this summer.

As a Water Safety Ambassador, you can promote water safety messages at your business to help:

  1. reduce the risk of drownings on the Surf Coast
  2. position the Surf Coast as a destination of choice for a safe beach holiday

The tragic problem

There are 76 non-patrolled beaches in the Surf Coast Shire, each posing a number of inherent safety risks to recreational swimmers.

From 1 July, 2000 to 30 June, 2017 there were 15 fatal drownings on the Surf Coast, with eight victims from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The Australian Government – Department of Health and local stakeholders acknowledge the need to improve water safety messaging and embed this messaging into the local tourism industry.

Concerning statistics

Research conducted by Life Saving Victoria in 2017/18 with people who visited Surf Coast beaches revealed that:

  • less than one-third (28.8%) of respondents said they always swim between the flags at a patrolled beach
  • 45% of respondents could not, or did not know if they could, identify a rip current
  • one in six (15.7%) said they sometimes consumed alcohol before participating in aquatic activities
  • 44.8% said they sometimes swam alone

How to become an Ambassador

  1. Register your business and choose campaign collateral (see below).
  2. Display the materials at your business.

Campaign collateral

You can order these promotional items for free. They are available in English, simplified Chinese, Hindu and Arabic.

  • posters (A3 or A4 size)
  • DL brochures
  • drink coasters

Further information

The campaign is funded through the Surf Life Saving Australia’s Beach Drowning Black Spot Reduction Program, led
by Life Saving Victoria and supported by the Surf Coast Shire, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism and the Surf Coast Times.

For further information, please contact campaign coordinator Adam Ruggero on telephone (03) 5222 5685 or email