Surf Life Saving GB Newsletter December 2015
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Nominate Your Heroes Of The Surf

Each year we celebrate and honour volunteers who make an exceptional differences in the Surf Life Saving community. Nominations are now invited for the Heroes Of The Surf Awards 2015.

Closing date for nominations is 31st January 2016, so don't be shy, nominate those people who have done a great job at your club, in your community, in your regions or nationally. We know how much great work is happening on our beaches and at inland clubs and we want to recognise the people who are making that difference. The Honours Committee will consider and confirm nominees to become Heroes Of The Surf in the new year. The awards are for long service, lifesaving, sport, certificate of merit and bravery. If there is anyone you would like to nominate as a Life Member, please let us know.

Find out more about all the awards in our awards in our Honours And Awards Guide.
Nominate your heroes here
Thank you to everyone who volunteered to offer safeguarding support at our events in 2015.  We appreciate your time and expertise. All our event dates for 2016 have now been released and we will be looking for volunteer safeguarding advisors to help. If you are a Club Safeguarding Officer, have a safeguarding qualification or a background in safeguarding, please contact the National safeguarding manager with your availability for the events throughout 2016. We welcome any feedback about our safeguarding policy, the processes or any other safeguarding approaches that we could use to improve our safeguarding within the organisation.  Please email

DBS – update service
Once you have applied for your DBS (previously CRB) with the GBGroup (the umbrella body that SLSGB use for applications) you can register for the update service. This service means that you will be able to give other organisations that you volunteer for your DBS details and they’ll be able to check the DBS status online rather than you having to apply for a new one.  It will also mean that instead of needing to apply for a new DBS through SLSGB every 3 years, as long as there is no change to your DBS status, you will not need to apply for a new one.  If you have already registered with the update service we can now accept these details instead of you having to apply for a new DBS through SLSGB.
You have up to 19 days after the certificate is issued to register for the service, after this date, you will not be able to register.  Registration is free for volunteers and lasts for 12 months, after this date, you will need to register for the service again. 
Once you have registered for the service, please let the National Safeguarding Manager know  and you will be sent a contract to complete giving SLSGB permission to check your DBS status every 12 months.  You will be able to see when your DBS status has been checked, and by whom.
NSPCC standards in safeguarding
SLSGB is working towards the NSPCC standards in safeguarding, which ultimately means that you achieve the NSPCC “Green Dot” of safeguarding.  There are three stages to the standards; Preliminary, Intermediate and the Advanced.  SLSGB have now passed the preliminary standards and are on the way to achieving intermediate.  

Safeguarding training in 2016
Lou Johnson has now attended the Time To Listen Tutor training and is putting together training dates and a programme for 2016 so that more members within our clubs will have sport specific safeguarding training.  This is an important part of our safeguarding activity and we will be contacting all Club Safeguarding Officers to arrange training.

Sport and Events
Sport and Event Plan 2016-2018
Over the past 3 months the new Sport and Events Committee has come together at the request of the board to plan and develop our Sport and Events in the coming years. Simply, to plan the event calendar well in advance, to provide better access to our sport events, build the capability and performance of our athletes and showcase our members’ skills at a higher level.  The committee is chaired by Pete Lawrence and members are Rob Phillips, Sandy Brown, Paul Coles, Matt Trebilcock, Sarah Garner, John Martin, Nigel Bowen and Keith Gammon. They have now met three times.
This update outlines our direction and actions going forward. If you have any feedback about how our sport could be better please get in touch through one of the committee.

Surf Life Saving Sport has at its core an essential purpose, saving lives. Whilst increasing both fitness and skill levels in our members it also acts to showcase the contribution of lifesaving in our communities.
This document (working plan – November 2015) outlines the direction for SLSGB in building robust, as safe as possible, efficient to run and cost effective sport events. It captures the thoughts, guidance and knowledge of the Sport and Event committee, selected individuals with the knowledge, pedigree and insight into SLSGB sport, namely: It operates under an agreed Terms of Reference and reports to the board of SLSGB and supports and guides the work of the National Events Manager, Nigel Bowen.
View The Full Sport and Event Plan 2016-2018 Here
We're really excited to announce that Devon Dub Fest 2016 will be supporting Surf Life Saving GB! Devon Dub Fest is a family festival for VW lovers providing a weekend of fun, with local traders, bands and entertainment for all ages (and dogs…they’re welcome too…on a lead). Every penny of profit that is made from the event is donated to the chosen charity and for 2016 SLSGB is lucky enough to have been chosen. Held from 22nd - 24th July within the grounds of Bicton College, Devon, with all proceeds going to charity. To find out more visit or .
Lifesaving, Search and Rescue
2015 has seen frantic action in training and developing new search and rescue flood teams. Amazingly, we now have over 100 fully trained flood rescue technicians with lots more in the pipeline. This Involves all our west country regions, Cornwall, Devon and Wessex together with South Worcester, Seaford and soon to be joined by others. This has enabled us not only to become full members of the UK Search and Operators Group (all the blue light rescue services) but also to formally declare to the National Fire and Rescue Control Centre 7 fully equipped rescue teams – great work by all and a lot of very busy weekends.  If your club would like t become involved please contact Adey Mayhew

Flood teams on Standby!!!!!
During Storm Abigail we were alerted to a potential threat of a rain band hitting the northern parts of England and parts of Scotland. At one point the met office was predicting between 3- 4 months of rainfall impacting in one day. Then, notices advised that further rain bands were heading in from the Atlantic that could cause further threats to a wider area.
Teams from York, Devon, Wessex, Cornwall and South Worcester were put on alert over the weekend of the 14/15th November and into the early part of the week. This time we were not called to action but thank you for all the volunteers who worked hard to support requests for assistance. The UK again was lucky that only 1500 households were affected. It could have been a lot worse.

SLSGB saw action for our flood rescue service with two Type B boat teams deployed on the 5th December to assist during the Cumbria Floods. The teams joined 20 other boat teams in one of the biggest floods ever faced in Cumbria. The amount of rainfall broke met office records for a 24hr period with 341mm.

The Team Managers were Sam Bailey, with a mixed team from Wessex and Cornwall area and Adrian Mayhew with a team from South Worcester and York.
Both teams completed an amazing combined total of nearly 200 assisted rescues.
Some of the more memorable incidents were the rescue a young girl who had become diabetic, the wholesale evacuation of all from a care home and finally rescuing a 2 year old St Bernard called Bailey.  It was great to see such a fast deployment, for some only weeks after completion of training and how professional and competent out teams were in action – well done to all involved

Wessex Flood Unit rescued a PWC (jet ski) close to Cobbs Bay in Poole last month. The team was out training on a falling tide when Unit Manager, Sam Bailey, became aware of a novice driver of a PWC who rammed it firmly into the mud. The team carefully made way to the embarrassed and by then very muddy casualty and carefully using ropes secured the craft got the casualty safe and with some basic rules of the road got him safely on his way – all in days work!
York Rescue Boat - our newest flood rescue recruits, have been busy, not unusual for them as their inshore lifeboat has been involved this year in over 50 rescues. Sadly, a person went missing and the team was tasked to help the Police with the water search and to provide safety for the Police Divers. The team worked for 3 days with the ongoing missing person incident. 
The International Life Saving WCDP was held in Malaysia on the Island of Penang between the 4th and 6th November. Over 400 delegates attended from 60 Countries. Representing SLSGB was our Trustee John Martin, Adey Mayhew and our Senior Clinical Adviser, Paddy Morgan. The conference headline was over 375,000 persons drown each year.  WCDP 2015 brought together ILS member organisations and the world leading practitioners, researchers and policy makers in drowning prevention, rescue, lifesaving and water safety. The event was co sponsored by the World Health Organisation to support exchange of information, debate and review.
The main conference themes of interest was the WHO Global Drowning Report and the new resuscitation guidelines along with the new drowning chain of survival and the implications for lifesavers and lifeguards. Paddy Morgan gave a presentation on cold water immersion and supraglottic airway management and joined by Mike Tipton (another of our Trustees) a symposium on hypoxic blackouts in water.
John Martin spoke on the contribution made by SLSGB for the European Quality Framework on Lifeguard standards for education. This work was acknowledged by both the President of International Life Saving Federation and the European Federation.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE – Compulsory requirement to adopt new regulations – Applicable Date 1st January 2016
Those affected:
IRB Drivers, Crews and Patients and Surf Boat Crews
ILS have just published the new regulations to govern ILS Sport for 2015 to 2019.  A copy of this can be seen through the following link;
ILS Competition Rule Book 2015-2019
The relevant information that this notice refers is contained in Section 6.1. paragraph g) page 159 relating to Surf Boat Events and Section 7.2.1 paragraph’s e) and f) relating to IRB Events
This requires that:-
  • Surf Boat Crews must wear helmets unless directed otherwise
  • The wearing of helmets is compulsory for patients in all IRB events
  • The wearing of PFDs (personal Flotation Devices) is compulsory for driver, crew and patients.
Full details of the required specification for both the helmets and PFD are contained in the relevant regulations. 
Helmets BSI EN1385 or equivalent are readily available with many choices. 
PFD’s ISO 12402.5 Level 50 or equivalent are available that meet the required standard but care should be taken to ensure that what you decide to buy is best suited to those that will use it. 
We recommend that PFD should meet the following additional requirements:-
  • Lightweight
  • Non obstructive to throat, neck and face areas
  • No sharp edges or materials that may cause injury to the wearer
  • Able to be secured so as not to ride up
  • Any fastening device will not cause entanglement
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Can be removed easily if required
  • High visibility colour
Whilst the new ILS regulations apply to sport, Surf Life Saving GB has determined that in the interests of safety, from the 1st January 2016 the new regulations shall be compulsory not only in sport but also in all training activity.
For those that use IRB’s as Rescue Boats it shall also apply but in this case the guidance provided by the Rescue Boat Code of practice should be noted
13.2 Lifejackets
13.2.1 Rescue Boat crew should wear appropriate lifejackets at all times whilst aboard the Rescue Boat or in the water.
13.2.2 The only exception to Para 13.2.1 is where, the rescue Boat Organisation concludes that the encumbrance of a lifejacket would preclude safe operation in the Rescue Boat environment, in specific cases such as:
  1. Crews engaged in underwater operations
  2. Surf: the rationale for a surf dispensation is that there is evidence to suggest that a lifejacket may inhibit the ability of such crew to swim through a breaking wave.  It is noted that fit, trained crew stand a better chance of survival by swimming through large breaking waves, rather than remaining on the surface.
This dispensation should not be granted lightly and mitigations should include the following minimum:
  • The crew should be sufficiently physically fit and trained to cope with the environmental conditions of surf
  • The crew should be able to handle the boat in surf
  • The Rescue Boat should be visually monitored from the shore by appropriately qualified staff
  • The shore support should have access to emergency communication facilities
  • There should be an emergency procedure in place
This decision was arrived at by the Sport and Event Committee with the help of the Chairman and members of the IRB Sport Group and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees.

Prior to the 1st January the wearing of helmets and PFD’s as prescribed above is highly recommended
2015…A Personal Best for Surf Life Saving Education!
2015 has a been a great year, with clubs from near and far requesting Coaching and Trainer Assessor Courses. In 2015 we have trained 72 Level 1 Coaches, 26 Level 2 Coaches and 57 Trainer Assessors, this is a record year training over 150 Educators. The biggest highlight of the year has to be seeing the standard of coaching, the enthusiasm of all the volunteers taking these courses and the networking that has gone on among clubs from around the country. Feedback from the courses has been excellent, here are some testimonials from some of our members…
‘Great course, leaving with fantastic ideas, inspiration & confidence’ – Bude Level 2 Course June 2015
‘One of the best classroom courses I have ever attended, very knowledgeable instructor, friendly and professional, highly recommended’ – Hayle Trainer Assessor Course Nov 2015
‘A really good and interesting course, got lots of ideas to use for future coaching’ – Falmouth Level 1 Coaching Course – Nov 2015
‘I really enjoyed this course and felt it really helped my development as a coach’ – Falmouth Level 1 Coaching Course – Nov 2015
We have identified improvements for 2016 and our focus is going to be on making our Educator courses more streamline, more accessible for all and offer more opportunities for improving discipline specific coaching.
We have now recruited a part time Coach Development Advisor, Mark, whose core focus is going to be on the development of our Coaching Courses. Mark has 19 years of coaching experience within the football and sports environment and has been developing coaches for the past 16 years, he is a member of Newquay Surf Life Saving Club and has held his Surf Lifeguard qualification for 6 years competing at the Nationals at Tolcarne in the beach events. Mark brings with him a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to help develop the coaching community within Surf Life Saving.
The most influential coaches are those that continuously strive for self-development. They are able to use a variety of personal skills and qualities to help enable athletes of all ages and levels if you would like to continue your own coach development programme plan then contact Mark on
What’s New for 2016…
Educator Updating
From feedback gathered over the past year, we have decided that starting in 2016 we are going to try a new way of updating our educators moving away from the necessity of having to attend a weekend event and towards regional road shows, CPD review and online updating. With now nearly 7000 members it is important to facilitate opportunities that meet the needs of a larger Community. It is also important that our review standards are more robust and the biggest concern about the National Update weekend is that not all attend, there is not always enough time to meet all the update needs and it is too costly for those who attend. We are therefore looking at delivering the National Update in a different way with a more accessible process to ensure that the essential elements for our Trainer Assessors and Coaches annual update is matched to need based on CPD assessment criteria.
We will be confirming this in more detail in the New Year.
For your diary planning, there will be no National Update Weekend event in 2016.

Education Pathways
We have now created pathways for all our awards that will allow individuals to plan their own learning choices. Our learning pathway is based on specific units and learning experiences that can be completed to progress towards an end goal.  This could be a personal plan and/or units, that together, make up a qualification (Award). This sounds like a revolution but it is not! - just a logical rearrangement of our existing learning into bite sized units that can be recorded and assessed as the learning process develops.  This allows clubs to have an easier to follow and deliver programme and those on the receiving end to be able to understand, record and measure personal progress. The core of this will be log books.
This should result in an easier to understand offering and a more flexible way to deliver it. Learning Pathways will enable individuals to meet set learning outcomes for specific units that can build up to an SLSGB award. Individuals can design their own pathway over a period of time to suit themselves.
The New Education Pathways Guide will be launched before the season starts in 2016.
We are coming to you….The SLSGB Education Roadshows!
We are planning nine educational roadshows in various regions in 2016, these roadshows will offer regions a Level 2 Coaching course, a Trainer Assessor Course, a support day and an opportunity for updating Educator Awards. We will be visiting North Devon in January/February and the East region in February/March. Confirmed dates and venues for all roadshows will be announced in early January 2016.
Lights are Green for Graduate Lifeguard Programme
Following an extended consultation period the Graduate Lifeguard Programme for 14 to 16 year old surf lifesaving club members is now up and running in selected pilot clubs in Devon and Cornwall. Lusty Glaze, Porthtowan, Saunton and Teignmouth are the pilot scheme Clubs and will begin the first year’s winter units very soon. 
Sponsored by South West Water, the principle aim is to increase water safety awareness and the prevention of drowning in the regions coastal waters with a clear focus on those most at risk.  With over 400 deaths by drowning in the UK each year, many involving children under 16 years old, Graduates will develop their lifesaving, sport leadership and presentation skills as advocates for prevention of drowning and at the same time have fun, get advanced skills and probably learn more about lifesaving than most who just take the Beach Life Guard Award. Graduates can choose from a menu of the Junior Leaders Award, the SLSGB Level 1 Coach Award and Lifesaving activity for the Duke of Edinburgh certification. All must commit to the new unified Vocational Beach Life Guard award for assessment when they reach age 16. The GLP workbook focuses on surf lifesaving skills and personal development and is divided into winter and summer units.  It is a very interactive programme that encourages the graduates to monitor their own development and record their observations and experiences. The outcome for those who opt for the three core qualifications is a positive life changing experience and a CV that most higher educators and employers will definitely notice! They will have also become valued members of our lifesaving community.
2016 promises to be even more exciting with further clubs signed up and plans to extend the programme to the Wessex Region.
This is an entirely new and ambitious programme.  We deliberately chose to limit the first year to just a handful of our Clubs to pilot, test prove the concept and iron out all the bugs. By mid 2016 we will be ready for a larger role out. If you would like your club or your child to sign up to the Graduate Lifeguard Programme, contact Mark at for further details.