Port Fairy beach patrols begin

READY: A gathering of Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club members during the nippers program last summer. Numbers are expected to be strong when the 2016-17 program starts this weekend. Picture: Martina Murrihy

READY: A gathering of Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club members during the nippers program last summer. Numbers are expected to be strong when the 2016-17 program starts this weekend. Picture: Martina Murrihy

THE onset of summer has brought with it the mobilisation of the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club.

Last weekend was the first beach patrol by club members.

The patrols will continue until Easter, with paid lifesavers joining volunteer club members during the peak summer period of January.

One of the tools the club uses to keep patrons at the beach safe is an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB).

Members have begun training sessions on how to operate the IRB.

They will log 20 hours of practice that will qualify them to use the boat for this summer season.

A group of 12 club members have started bronze training. The group trains twice a week in preparation for an exam, which is scheduled for January 22.

The club’s popular nippers program begins this Sunday at the clubrooms at East Beach.

The first session will run from 10am to noon.

Registration for nippers was held last Sunday while a preliminary session to test skill level was staged the previous weekend.

The nippers program is aimed at children aged five to 13.

The program will run each Sunday in the lead-up to Christmas.

There are three sessions in the week between Christmas and New Year.

January will have five regular sessions with a number of special events punctuating the calendar in that month.

These include the Duck Derby and Moyneyana Ocean Swim with the nippers club championships on January 8.

The nippers program continues into February with the last session on Sunday 19. 

Club captain Amy Finnigan said she was excited about the arrival of summer.

“It looks like we have some really good numbers for nippers again which is great,” Ms Finnigan said.

“The nippers program is a huge part of our club.

“It brings in a lot of families and a lot of parents come to nippers and like the way the club operates and decide to do their bronze training and come on board as patrol members.

“We have a wonderful team of volunteers for patrols but we are always on the look-out for more.”

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