Patrol Services

Our 20 affiliated clubs perform patrols every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday from approximately October to March (start and finish dates vary from year to year). Patrols are there to provide information and first aid, as well as assist in rescues. Prevention is better than cure - never be afraid to approach a surf lifesaver with a question!

Inflatable Rescue Boats

Crewed by two people (a driver and a crewperson), Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) are affectionately nicknamed “rubber ducks” or just “ducks”. Owned and deployed by clubs, IRBs are usually inflated and ready to launch during patrol, or may be in the water at length on busy days. IRBs are of great value during rescues in surf that is too powerful to effectively perform a rescue on a board. IRBs are also used for surveillance duties during events (e.g. open water swims). 

Lifeguard Services

The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) is a fully integrated national lifeguard service, providing services to more than 65 local government authorities and land managers across Australia. The ALS provides a committed, proactive and professional service on the beaches and within the community. 

The ALS South Australia contracts Lifeguard Services to the City of Holdfast Bay with the primary service provided at Glenelg beach with mobile and outpost services provided through to Seacliff from December through to the end of March.

In addition the ALS South Australia contracts to the Alexandrina Council to provide a service to Goolwa Beach for the January school holidays.

Become a Lifeguard

Lifeguard applications for 2017/2018 season are now open click here

Rescue Water Craft

The Rescue Water Craft (RWC) was introduced to the Surf Life Saving Support Service arena in 1999/2000 in NSW and during the 2006/2007 season in South Australia. It has proven to be extremely successful, marking a significant step forward in our voluntary patrols.

The rapid, motorised response units play a vital role in our lifesaving services, patrolling long stretches of coastline to help keep beach users safe, both in and out of the red and yellow flagged areas.

While the RWC cannot cater for the quantity of patients an Inflatable Rescue Boat or Jet Boat can, it makes it an ideal fast, highly maneuverable, piece of equipment for our lifeguards and specialist services. RWC’s are used to help with; aquatic rescues, general roving patrols and emergency situations such as search and rescues working closely with SA Police and Ambulance Services.

The RWC's have proven to be one of the most valuable pieces of rescue equipment used on our beaches. There has been positive feedback received by both Surf Life Saving members and members of the Community.

The current RWC models being used by Surf Life Saving South Australia are Seadoo GTI 130, Seadoo spark for light, rapid response ski and Seadoo GTI 155. 

Jet Rescue Boats

Jet Rescue Boats (JRBs) have provided key emergency service and patrol operations for more than 30 years in South Australia.  

The JRB Service conducts regular surveillance patrols and rescue missions in the Metropolitan, Mid South and Far South Coast areas, in addition to other areas of the State. 

The JRB Service is also used in 24 hour emergency call outs, and at times works in close liaison with the SA Police and other emergency service agencies. 

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service provides essential patrol, rescue and preventative measure strategies to the beach going public of South Australia.

Due to the generous support provided by Westpac, a dedicated helicopter concentrates on patrolling South Australia's coastline providing comfort and security to the many visitors to our shoreline.

The South Australian Government is also a key supporter of the service, providing support funding to extend the hours of operation being provided by the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter service to the South Australian community.


Surfcom is the central communication point for all of our clubs and support groups within Surf Life Saving South Australia. Radio communications enable quick, simple and an efficient means of obtaining assistance, equipment or information during a lifesaving operation.

Based at the West Beach Headquarters, Surfcom also provides general information to all lifesaving services, records key information and has the ability to liaise with other emergency services.