Impacts of surfing on coastline safety

Surfing Victoria and La Trobe University are calling on Victorian surfers to take part in a new study that aims to increase our understanding of how surfers keep our beaches and coastline safe.

The partnership with La Trobe University’s Centre for Sport and Social Impact (CSSI) aims to study the impact that surfers have on the safety of Victoria’s coastline in helping reduce drownings through rescues and interventions.

La Trobe Research Fellow Kiera Staley said the CSSI is proud to assist Surfing Victoria and the wider surfing community in understanding the impact of their role in keeping beaches safe.

“The advice and actions of surfers in an emergency can be life-saving, especially in remote coastline locations or unpatrolled beaches. There is a lack of information around what happens outside patrolled beach locations and this research will help to fill this gap,” Ms Staley said.

As part of the Surfers Rescue 24/7 Program, the study will run for 12 months and will investigate how many rescues surfers perform across the year on Victoria’s coastline through a simple monthly reporting system.

“Surfers are often the first responders to rescues on the coastline all year round, however it is not documented how many rescues surfers actually perform” said Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson.

“We want to understand how often rescues by surfers happen throughout the state so we can ensure that the right people are being trained in CPR and Board Rescue skills.”

The study will require participants to report each month via a simple survey the amount of times they have advised someone to not surf or swim in a particular location (an intervention) and any rescues or First Aid performed whilst at the beach.

Interested Victorian surfers can now register to be part of the program with a double pass to URBNSURF Melbourne to be given away each month and as the major prize, a $1000 King Island Surf Safari Voucher.

Interested participants can register here:

The research is supported by Surfing Victoria, La Trobe University, Emergency Management Victoria and the Victorian Government.

IMAGE: Supplied by Surfing Victoria

Media contact:

La Trobe - Dragana Mrkaja,, 0447 508 171

Surfing Victoria - Liam Robertson,, 0431 248 474