By Vanessa Wee
Surf lifesavers from the Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club recently participated in an IRB (Inflatable rescue boat) Adventure Race at Lancelin.
The event was created to spread public awareness of the duties that surf life savers carry out in their inflatable rescue boats.
“The purpose is to show the public that surf life savers don’t merely stroll up and down the beach, there is more to it than that,” said Brent Peterson, organiser.
“The IRB Adventure Race involved each team driving their respective boats out, then run along a course carrying the IRB,” Mr Peterson said.
“Afterwards they use a paddle to paddle out into the sea and back in. The entire course goes on for five kilometres.”
Competitors were expected to remove and reattach the IRB motor at certain points of the race.
In a twist, one team out of the six were stranded in the ocean due to their outboard falling off and the life saving crew on rescue duty had to assist in retrieving the motor and taking the participants back to shore.
“We didn’t attach the motor onto our boat properly, and half way back to the finishing line the motor dropped into the water and was dangling off a wire” said one of the competitors who was stranded in the IRB but whose identity wasn’t revealed.
“We were stuck in the middle of nowhere and had to wait for the rescue crew to come to us. Luckily we weren’t in any sort of extreme danger,” she said.
“There’s always a certain amount of risk present when it comes to such activities, we’re very thankful that no one got injured and that the event was a successful one,” said the event organiser.
The Fremantle Surf Life Savers are now training for the upcoming rowing competitions against other clubs in WA.