Surf Lifesavers

They train like athletes, give up their weekends and brave the elements, all to save lives on our beaches. With twelve thousand kms of coastline, WA's beaches are spectacular, but with sharks, rips and strong seas, at times it's dangerous.

This morning at Cottesloe, lifesavers are being put through a gruelling regime - to make the grade they need to be fast fit and strong, it's all about preparing for real life rescues.

Ben Studley is Cottesloe Surf club's chief instructor, "It sounds romantic and glorified, but hopefully I can give somebody the skills and ability that they need to save another person's life."

It's his job to put the lifesavers through their paces. "They have to do CPR, signals, radio procedures, board and tube rescue, the run swim run, spinal recovery and scenario based activities."

All senior surf lifesavers have their bronze medallions, they're re-tested every year to stay up to date and only the fittest will get through.

In the past six months alone, surf lifesavers have rescued six and a half thousand people, "A lot of the work we do is really precautionary - we're getting people out of the water, sometimes before a situation worsens."

Patrol captain Peter Kuhne says there's no room for complacency. Patrol captain Gemmaley Walsh is just one of hundreds of Cottesloe members who volunteers her time.

This will be Gemmaley's ninth season at Cottesloe, even though she's lived up to an hour away. Tough, but worth it. It's the dedication and everyday men and women committed to saving lives, at whatever the cost.

If you want to become a surf lifesaver, or get your kids involved, head to: and follow the prompts.