Lifesavers need help to keep surf safe

SURF Life Saving Australia will launch a new national community awareness campaign today to mark the first day of summer.

The campaign, featuring the Noiseworks song Touch, calls on the community to support the movement by donating money.

It is fronted by ironman legend Trevor Hendy (pictured), who calls on Australians to understand the importance of community support for the surf lifesaving movement.

"This is a great campaign for a great organisation," Mr Hendy said.

"We are the face of Australia's beaches, yet we are a charity that provides a valuable service to millions of people each year on and off the beach at no cost.

"Since its beginnings in 1907, the surf lifesaving movement has saved over 615,000 lives on Australian beaches but it can't survive alone and relies heavily on the support of the community, through donations.

"Our lifesavers and lifeguards help to save almost 12,000 lives every year, but we are not a hospital.

"We teach over 500,000 kids each year, but we're not a school."

The new campaign demonstrates the breadth of surf lifesaving services, including coastline patrols, education and training, search-and-rescue services and on-water surveillance.

During the 2012-13 patrol season, surf lifesavers and lifeguards performed almost 12,000 rescues, one million preventative actions and more than 64,000 first aid treatments on beaches around Australia.

All funds raised through the summer campaign will be managed through the association's subsidiary, The Surf Life Saving Foundation.