SLSSA Surf & Survive

The Surf Life Saving program focuses on beach safety skills and aquatics rescues, as well as developing confidence swimming in open water. For the purpose of the VACSWIM program, Surf Life Saving offers the "Surf and Survive" program at beach and open water sites across South Australia.  This program has been specially developed for VACSWIM based on the Nipper program offered in Surf Life Saving clubs.

STAGE 1 (recommended 5 years old)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness • Swimming & survival skills - Enter water to waist deep • Be able to breathe out while face is underwater, submerge head completely • Leave water safely • Recover from front/back glide to standing position • Using a kickboard, kick legs to travel 3 metres • Surf & rescue skills - Float for 30 seconds holding rescue flotation aid then recover to a standing position.

STAGE 2 (recommended 5-6 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness • Swimming & survival skills - Demonstrate 2 floats • Tread water for 15 seconds • Demonstrate sculling for 30 seconds holding rescue tube or flotation device throw to candidate • Using flotation aid introduce front crawl arm movements • Swim for 5 metres • Surf & rescue skills -Duck under broken wave or duck dive in chest depth touching bottom with hands.

STAGE 3 (recommended 6-7 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness • Swimming & survival skills - Tread water/sculling then float for 30 seconds • Introduction of survival strokes, survival backstroke, sidestroke and breaststroke • Swim 15 metres using front/back crawl • Surf & rescue skills - Body surfing skills • rescues identifying emergency measures.

STAGE 4 (recommended 7-8 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness • Swimming & survival skills - Swim 15 metres of any survival stroke and tread water for 30 seconds • Swim minimum of 25 metres, breaststroke/sidestroke/front or back crawl  • Surf & rescue skills - Enter ocean with correct technique for diving through broken waves • Body surf back to shore • From above head depth, surface dive and collect handful of sand • Explain, demonstrate and practice paddling a foam surfboard and its use in supporting a person in difficulty • First aid - Intro & understand emergency response/resuscitation.

STAGE 5 (recommended 8-9 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness • Swimming & survival skills - Dressed in bathers, t-shirt and shorts, tread water for 1 minute and swim for 25 metres using any stroke • Run/Swim/Run - 25m/25m/25m combination of strokes allowed • Surf & rescue skills - Enter the ocean through waves and body surf back to shore • Demonstrate ability to help effect a rescue using foam surfboard and rescue tube • First aid - Further develop principles of first aid and resuscitation.

STAGE 6 (recommended 9-10 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness • Swimming & survival skills - Swim 50 metres using survival strokes • Run/Swim/Run - 25m/25m/25m using front crawl • Surf & rescue skills - Discuss & practice rescues • First aid - Perform first aid & resuscitation.

STAGE 7 (recommended 10-11 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness - Answer 5 questions on surf awareness • Learn 5 signals • Swimming & survival skills - Swim 100 metres using survival strokes, can change strokes after every 25metres • Run/Swim/Run - 50m/50m/50m using 50m front crawl & 50m of any survival stroke • Surf & rescue skills - Demonstrate board rescue and return to shore with patient • First aid -Continue first aid and resuscitation by introducing CPR.

STAGE 8 (recommended 11-12 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness - Answer 10 questions on Life Saving knowledge and emergency care • Discuss & learn signals • Swimming & survival skills - Swim 150 metres using survival strokes • Run/Swim/Run - 50m/75m/50m • Surf & rescue skills - Demonstrate board and tube rescue and return to shore with patient • Perform patient approaches, releases & escape methods • First aid - Continue CPR, emergency care bleeding & marine stings • Knowledge of emergency procedures.

STAGE 9 (recommended 12-13 years olds)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness - Answer 10 questions on Life Saving knowledge, first aid, resuscitation and surf awareness • Signals • Swimming & survival skills - Swim 200 metres using survival strokes • Float for 2 minutes • Run/Swim/Run - 100m/75m/100m • Surf & rescue skills - Demonstrate a rescue without equipment, returning to shore with patient • Discuss deep water resuscitation and practice using tube or board • First aid - Patient management, CPR • Intro to body systems.

STAGE 10 (recommended 13+ years old)

Sun safety • Beach safety and surf awareness - Answer Life Saving questions • Swimming & survival skills - Complete Run/Swim/Run - 100m/100m/100m in 5 minutes • Surf & rescue skills - Demonstrate signals and describe patrol information • Perform a board rescue including deep water resuscitation •Perform a tube rescue including deep water resuscitation • Perform other rescue methods • First aid - Perform CPR & defibrillation • Patient management • Explain the human body systems.

Participants who complete Stage 10 and are 13 years of age, can choose to take their Surf Rescue Certificate outside of the Vacswim program.  This will incur an additional assessment fee and can be arranged directly through SLSSA.  A training manual is recommended to help complete the mandatory workbook.