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Teens learn how to help those in surf

HELPING HANDS: Wondunna’s Nathan Thomson and Maryborough’s Annabel Head are being trained on the Sunshine Coast this weekend to upgrade their water rescue skills.
HELPING HANDS: Wondunna’s Nathan Thomson and Maryborough’s Annabel Head are being trained on the Sunshine Coast this weekend to upgrade their water rescue skills. Saira Manns

WHILE most Fraser Coast teenagers are spending their holidays hanging out at the beach, Annabel Head and Nathan Thomson are learning how to save lives at the beach.

It is all part of the three day Surf Life Saving Queensland's Breaka Youth Excellence Program, which began yesterday for the two Fraser Coast trainee life savers and about 80 other high school aged kids.

The young adults were visited on Friday by a rescue team flown in by helicopter to talk about emergency services career options.

Maryborough girl Annabel, 16, thinks the skills she has learnt with the Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach Surf Life Saving Clubs will help her become a paramedic.

Already armed with her Senior First Aid certificate and bronze medallion, she also knows how to use a defibrillator, manage patients with spinal injuries and administer oxygen.

While the lapping tides of Hervey Bay waters are surf-free, she said patrols in the club's Inflatable Rescue Boat have also begun to better prepare her in emergency response.

"We have no surf, but we still have people get into trouble," Annabel said.

"It is good to have a surf club (in Hervey Bay), as if you get tourists, because of the club, they know what is a safe area."

Wondunna's Nathan, 15, said he enjoyed learning how to handle any emergency.

His top tip for first-aiders is to stay calm when helping patients.

"If you become stressed, you make errors," he said.

Surf Life Saving Queensland 2014/15

3,648 rescues

251 resuscitations

19,105 First Aid treatments

160 spinal injury treatments

Topics:  beach life saving surf



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