Surf lifeguard rescues

Damian Joseph Morgan, Joan Ozanne-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study assessed the utility of lifeguard rescue data for providing information on person and situation factors to inform surf bather drowning prevention research. Methods.-: The dataset comprised 872 beach-days (daily lifeguard reports) obtained from 26 beaches over a 95-day period in Victoria, Australia. Results.-: The rescue rate was 128 per 100,000 in-water bathers. One or more rescues were required on 125 beach-days (14 ). Rescue on a beach-day was more likely for offshore wind conditions, relatively high daily air temperatures, and high bather numbers (P <.05). Compared to female bathers, males were more frequently rescued (65 ) and more likely (P <.05) to be from a younger age group (30 years or less), although being older was associated with a relatively poorer condition on rescue. Conclusions.-: Although rescues are proportional to water exposure, frequencies are also influenced by situation and person factors. Bathers at relatively high risk of rescue are hypothesized to be overrepresented in amenable sea and weather conditions, and poor patient condition on rescue may be associated with exposure to a preexisting health condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285 - 290
Number of pages6
JournalWilderness & Environmental Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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