12 March 2019

Adelaide can put on the warmest of welcomes for the thousands of international students who come here to study. It is Mad March - lots of live theatre, live music, the weather is hot and fine, and the city has a petticoat of alluring local beaches to visit. 

But a 2018 study of drowning deaths across Australia, underlines just how vulnerable overseas students can be when they are inexperienced in coastal life, water sports and ocean swimming. 

The 10-year Royal Life Saving Study shows 27 per cent, or one in four drownings in Australia are people born overseas. 

Now, a highly successful partnership with the Grange Surf Life Saving Club is helping to keep University of South Australia international students safe at the beach and in the water. 

Together, UniSA and GSLSC are hosting a special Surf Awareness and Beach Safety day at Grange Beach on Saturday March 23 from 9:15 am to 2.30 pm

Manager of UniSA Sport in the University’s Student Engagement Unit, Adrian George says the sessions combine essential beach surf and sun safety education, including everything from surf awareness and demonstrations of surf rescue operations, with a little bit of fun – beach cricket and bocce and a big Aussie barbecue. 

“It’s great to see so many of our new international students excited about going to Adelaide’s beautiful beaches but staying safe at the beach requires knowledge and skills,” George says.

“These sessions have been designed to introduce students to a range of important safety factors from simple things like remembering to stay hydrated and protected from the sun, right through to understanding beach signage and the impact of currents and tides on swimming conditions.” 

David Forrest, Club Vice Captain at Grange Surf Life Saving, says safety is paramount for all beach goers, whether they are first-timers or regulars. 

“The safest way to enjoy the beach is to swim between the flags,” Forrest says. 

“This is where we have trained surf lifesavers patrolling the area and looking out for signs of swimmers in trouble. 

“It’s important to remember not to go beyond your level of experience and capacity. Rips, tides and wind movement can make the sea unpredictable and can create unsafe conditions for inexperienced swimmers. 

“Most beach and swimming accidents can be avoided if people are better informed and use their common sense.  

“This beach session presents a fantastic opportunity for new international students to gain a solid grounding in beach and surf awareness and safety fundamentals that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.” 

More information about the Surf Awareness and Beach Safety evet is available online

UniSA media contact: 

Michèle Nardelli phone: +61 418 823 673 or +61 882960854 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au



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