The Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club's $6 million re-development is close to opening

ON PATROL: Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club Life Member Bob Bruce and Peter Francis are excited along with other members of the coming opening of the clubrooms.
ON PATROL: Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club Life Member Bob Bruce and Peter Francis are excited along with other members of the coming opening of the clubrooms.

The Fleurieu Peninsula has a new jewel in the crown of the coastal area with the new lifesaving, training, and function hub making waves along the coast.

After more than a decade in the making, the biggest Surf Life Saving Club (PESLSC) re-development in the state is complete.

Life Governor of the PESLSC Bob Bruce has been a member of the club since 1955 and witnessed four building projects during his time.

"The new development is fantastic for the club and our community. This will attract more members and aid keeping the beaches safer," Mr Bruce said.

"The development will be a boost for the family culture at the club and will definitely sustain the club's future.

"Seeing the development now is beyond all my expectations. It is fantastic and will service our communities for decades to come."

Boasting a new patrol and first aid area, training and change rooms, as well as a jet-ski storage area, the complete rebuild provides volunteer patrolling members state-of-the-art facilities that will sustain vital lifesaving services well into the future,

PESLSC president Peter Francis and his team have worked tirelessly on the project to make sure the local community were consulted and the design reflects what locals and tourists were asking for, fitting into the local landscape perfectly.

"I often say signing up children to surf lifesaving is an act of love and our new surf club is a gift to the community that will be able to help us safe lives right across the Encounter Coast and beyond," Mr Francis said.

Mr Francis said that the new club would allow members to assist with an expected increase in the amount of rescue callouts and has strongly supported the club to develop a specialised response group that can be called upon urgently when every second counts in an emergency.

"We have already experienced a boost in frontline volunteer lifesavers because of the club and I want to thank our members and patrolling lifesavers for their resilience during this build. They all still provided lifesaving services from two shipping containers to allow time to build this new facility that will leave a legacy for generations of lifesavers," Peter said.

The local community will certainly benefit, with the club featuring a function room and café deck overlooking the magnificent Horseshoe Bay,

Fundraising efforts by the club, as well as significant contributions from the State Government, Surf Life Saving SA and the Alexandrina Council supported the project.

"Volunteer patrolling lifesavers are an essential part of providing a safe environment for swimmers to visit the beach and it was important that our regional volunteers from Port Elliot SLSC have access to the best facilities to ensure that they can keep doing what they do best - saving lives at the beach."

The new building, supported by $4.895 million from the State Government, $755,000 from the fundraising efforts of the PESLSC and $330,000 contribution from Alexandrina Council.

The new club has already become the most popular site for the iconic government subsided summer water safety program VACSWIM, with over 700 children already signed up to make a splash at the site.

South Australian builder, Partek Construction and Interiors and local architect Terry Boxall from Intro Architecture led the $6 million build, which created 20 trade jobs during construction and a further staff to be employed when the function space is complete.

As the Port Elliot community enters this exciting new stage of its club and town's history, South Australians can take part by joining as a volunteer or supporting the club. You don't have to get up every morning and train. You don't even have to get your toes wet.

Find out how https://www.surflifesavingsa.com.au/become-a-surf-life-saver

Surf Life Saving SA Season Statistics 2019-2020 - South Australian Surf Lifesavers performed; 80,033 Patrol Hours, 154 Rescues, 459 First Aid Treatments, 20,143 Preventative Actions.

Safety Messages - Swim between the flags - Surf Lifesavers and lifeguards set up patrolled areas so they can best look after you, if you are not swimming at these locations then the time to get to you could make a big difference and cost you your life.

STOP, LOOK, PLAN - (Stop - pause and see where you are. Can you see a rip or other danger | Look - are there other hazards, are there large waves or rocks, can I see if there is a patrolled area? | Plan - where you are going, is it patrolled? Do you know how to recognise dangers? What will you do if something goes wrong?

Know your limits - No-one plans to get into trouble, but it happens too often. Know your limits and those of others you are with. Too often, someone has gone to rescue someone else and it has cost them their life.

Supervise children around water - children move quicker than we would like and a drowning event is often a quiet one. Watch your children on, in and around water - not your phone!

Don't mix alcohol and swimming - Almost a quarter of all coastal drowning deaths involved alcohol and/or drugs.

Wear a lifejacket - If you are heading out boating, rock fishing or on watercraft - then please wear a lifejacket. Your safety matters.

Be sun smart - Slip, slop, slap, seek, slide. Slip on a shirt, slop on 30+ sunscreen, slap on a brimmed hat, seek shade, slide on sunglasses. Remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming.

Aquatic Toys - be careful with new equipment, test it, make sure it is in good repair, check conditions before heading out, supervise kids on flotation devices.

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