Saturday, 11 August, 2018

Volunteers, nippers, clubs and trainers picked up a swag of awards at Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV’s) annual Awards of Excellence night.

Representing the Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services Harriet Shing congratulated more than 34,000 LSV volunteers on their dedication and commitment to keeping Victorians safe in and around water.

Patrick Spinazzola from Torquay Surf Life Saving Club received the Graeme Long Memorial Medal for Victoria’s Volunteer of the Year, recognising his achievements as a volunteer across the 2017-18 season.

The John Wishart Memorial Medal for the Lifesaver of the Year, meanwhile, was presented to Heath Armstrong from Lorne Surf Life Saving Club.

The Portsea Surf Life Saving Club was named club of the year, and was awarded the annual Beaurepaire Shield.

The Portsea club also received the Outstanding Achievement of the Year award, presented by Ms Shing, in recognition of a nippers program that has gone from strength to strength.

LSV’s Awards of Excellence are held every year to celebrate the outstanding achievements of volunteers and lifeguards who keep Victorians safe at the beach and around our waterways.

With nearly three million people visiting the state’s patrolled beaches over the past summer, lifesavers played a critical role in preventing drowning deaths and injuries in Victorian communities.

During the 2017-18 patrol season, lifesavers carried out almost 119,000 preventative actions, performed almost 660 rescues and attended about 1,800 first-aid incidents.

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services Harriet Shing

 “In 2017-18 lifesavers dedicated countless hours to patrolling beaches in Victoria, and the Awards of Excellence night is a great way to recognise the work they do.”

“Tragically, too many people drown in Victoria each year. Lifesavers work hard to prevent drowning incidents and ensure that people are playing it safe by the water.”

“The courage and commitment shown by the winners of the awards are impressive. I want to thank them and all lifesavers on the effort they put into keeping our beaches and waterways safe.”