This five dollar silver proof coin honours the work and services performed by the volunteer members of the Surf Lifesavers. It is a dangerous yet invaluable service that they provide and the organisation is responsible for saving thousands of lives each year. This coin depicts the dangerous conditions that the sea can present with the image of a rescue boat that is being tossed around by the crashing waves. The team of volunteers involved are all highly skilled and trained and they work hard to keep Australia's beaches safe. Surf Life Saving Australia is known as SLSA for short and is the authority that is spread throughout Australia providing water safety, drowning prevention and rescue services on the beaches. It is a volunteer organisation that is made up of 311 surf life saving clubs and has over 165,000 members. The majority are volunteers who patrol the coats whilst the organisation also contracts a lifeguard service to government and land owners.
The work done by SLSA is integral to Australian lifestyle and has helped to shape the nation and it's prominent surfing and watersport culture. Before 1902 is had been illegal for anyone to enter the ocean but as the law began to be increasingly challenged, it ended up being over turned. As more and more people entered the waters, so too were there more and more drowning incidence due to inexperience in the water and unusual rip currents. As a result volunteers began patrolling the beaches and by 1906 the Bondi Beach Surf Bathing Association had been formed. (Wikipedia, 2013) Following the first club in Sydney, affiliated clubs began to pop up all over the country. The name changed in 1922 to Surf Life Saving Association and then again in 1991 to it's existing name of Surf Life Saving Australia. As well as the adult volunteer members the association also has a junior programs of which members are called Nippers. This provides the opportunity to learn about beach safety and awareness in the water from a young age. Lifesaver volunteers have certificates ensuring their proficiency in swimming, first aid and rescue techniques. The exam which involves both theoretical and practical aspects can be taken from the age of 15. Over 6 million people have been rescued by the SLSA since 1907 with over 10,000 rescues and 30,000 cases of first aid on average every year.
This fine silver
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