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Hunter surf lifesavers raise flags for another season

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As lifesavers ready themselves for another big season, Hunter Surf Life Saving (SLS) staged the traditional Raising of the Flags at Nobbys Beach at the weekend.

The local branch boasts 13 clubs, from Catherine Hill Bay to Tea Gardens Hawks Nest.

Gabe Wisdeth, Henry Scruton, Kaylah Broadhead and Paul Juergens with children Austin Hicks and Blake Styles.

Hunter SLS president Henry Scruton ESM joined Newcastle Permanent chief distribution officer Paul Juergens for the annual event on Saturday 23 September, which officially marked the start of 2023/24.

“After last summer, safety is more important than ever,” the former said.

“Our volunteers provided first aid 350 times, made 180 rescues, and completed nearly 36,500 preventative actions.

“We had more than 750,000 visitors to our beaches.

“And, that number is expected to increase with reports of some particularly hot months on the way.

“Our volunteer surf lifesavers are an integral part of Australian culture… and they are proud to be back on the sand for another busy season.

“So, we’re grateful for Newcastle Permanent’s support, which provides the equipment and resources needed to help keep our beautiful beaches safe.”

Austin Hicks, Gabe Wisdeth, Henry Scruton, Paul Juergens, Blake Styles and Kaylah Broadhead.

The iconic partnership has endured more than four decades.

“We’re honoured to support the region’s volunteer Surf Life Saving clubs, which dedicate thousands of hours each year on patrol,” Mr Juergens said.

“Time spent at the beach in the warmer months is something many of us look forward to.

“So, our lifesavers play an important role in keeping beachgoers safe.

“Just last year in the Hunter, more than 7,000 active patrolling members hit the sand, together clocking up nearly 60,000 patrol hours.

“Our proud union with Hunter SLS helps to ensure the sustainability of this service through recruitment, training, recognition and retention of local lifesavers.

“We are thrilled to see Hunter Surf Life Saving raise the flags for another summer.”

People interested in joining the SLS movement can find their local club at www.hsls.org.au

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