Lifesaving event com­pe­ti­tions high­light the skills involved in res­cue, resus­ci­ta­tion and first aid.

An impor­tant part of com­pe­ti­tion is the devel­op­ment of skills that will assist mem­bers while per­form­ing patrolling duties. Lifesaving events encompass:

  • Champion Patrol
  • Champion Lifesaver
  • First Aid Competition
  • Rescue and Resuscitation (R&R)
  • Tube Rescue
  • Belt Race

The focus of the events are ‘real’ lifesaving skills.  Competitors do not have to be elite athletes, just dedicated lifesavers.  Most of the Lifesaving events have an emphasis on team work in stressful situations.

Champion Patrol

The Champion Patrol Competition is the ultimate team event in Surf-Lifesaving.  The aim of the event is to demon­strate how life­savers work as a team in per­form­ing some or all of the skills asso­ci­ated with surf res­cue patrol work.

Champion Patrol includes a num­ber of phys­i­cal skills, prac­ti­cal and the­ory tasks involv­ing rac­ing, res­cue and/or first aid situations. Each team con­sists of six (6) com­peti­tors who are all pro­fi­cient hold­ers of the Bronze Medal­lion and Advanced Resus­ci­ta­tion Cer­tifi­cate. At least one competitor needs to have their IRB Dri­ver Cer­tifi­cate, with 1 other also being either a pro­fi­cient IRB Dri­ver or IRB Crewman.

The event consists of four parts:

  • a theory paper of 20 questions (20 points);
  • physical events (surf-teams, board-tube-rescue relay) (20 points);
  • a judged team resuscitation and patient assessment (20 points); and
  • a lifesaving task (40 points).

The team at the end of the day with the most points wins.  To be successful teams must be able to work together to solve complex lifesaving problems in a ‘real-life’ setting.

Champion Lifesaver

This event pro­vides indi­vid­ual mem­bers the oppor­tu­nity to demon­strate in a com­pet­i­tive man­ner the phys­i­cal, life sav­ing and knowl­edge skills required of a life­saver. Credit is also given for life sav­ing awards held.

Champion Lifesaver is deter­mined on a point score basis. The four sec­tions that com­prise the event are:

  • a theory paper of 40 questions (40 points);
  • physical events (surf race, board race, tube race, sprint race) (40 points); and
  • a judged one-person resuscitation and patient assessment (40 points)
  • credit for existing awards held

The individual with the most points at the end of the day wins.  To be successful individuals must have an excellent knowledge of Surf Lifesaving and be superb athletes in all disciplines.  In short, the winner is truly a ‘champion’ lifesaver.

First Aid Com­pe­ti­tion


The First Aid com­pe­ti­tion is a team event designed to pro­mote and demon­strate a high stan­dard of First Aid prowess by mem­bers. The com­pe­ti­tion is held with a sim­u­lated acci­dent sce­nario (often with upwards of 4 patients), limited equipment, no external help and a set time limit. All teams receive the same sce­nario, where every effort is made to achieve real­ism with the sce­nario and in the pre­sen­ta­tion of casu­al­ties (make-up, acting and staging), thereby giv­ing the com­peti­tors the cor­rect atmos­phere.

Teams con­sist of 2 mem­bers. Judg­ing of the com­pe­ti­tion is conducted by mark­ing sheets, which are related to the fol­low­ing 7 sec­tions of the scenario:

  1. Approach to casualty
  2. Exam­i­na­tion of casu­alty and diag­no­sis of injuries
  3. Spe­cific points for all treatments
  4. Dis­posal of casualty
  5. Man­age­ment of the incident
  6. First Aid kits
  7. Judge’s dis­cre­tion

To be successful, teams must work together and manage the situation to the best of their ability, gathering information and using first aid skills gained through patrolling and lifesaving activities.


R&R is the traditional version of Champion Patrol and involves teams of between 5 and 6 people simulating rescues and resuscitation.  It is a highly technical event and requires supreme physical fitness as well as dedicated team work.  It is hotly contested at both Western Australia and Australian Titles.

Tube Rescue

Tube res­cue is a teams event con­ducted in teams of either 2 or 4 people.

For the 4 mem­ber teams event, teams con­sist of 1 patient, 1 tube swim­mer and 2 res­cuers. The race involves the patient either swim­ming or being dropped out to a buoy, who must then be returned to shore using tube res­cue techniques. The tube swim­mer dons a res­cue tube, swims out to the patient and attaches the tube before swim­ming them­selves and their ‘patient’ back to shore. Upon the tube being attached to the patient, the 2 res­cuers must also swim out to the buoys and assist the patient back to shore. When reach­ing the shore, the patient is dragged up to the fin­ish line and the first team to suc­cess­fully res­cue the patient wins.

For the 2 per­son tube res­cue event, teams con­sist of 1 patient and 1tube swim­mer. Patients swim to a buoy and sig­nal their team mate to res­cue them. The tube swim­mer then swims out to their patient, attaches the tube and swims their patient to shore.

Belt Race

This is a team event con­sist­ing of 1 belt-person (swim­mer) sup­ported by 4 lines-persons. Using a tra­di­tional surf reel, line and belt, the objec­tive is to be the first belt-person to reach the swim­ming buoys set at least 120m from the shore. The belt swim­mer fin­ishes their race by reach­ing their buoy first and mak­ing the cor­rect ‘touch’ and signal.

The lines-persons ‘pay the line out’ as their belt-person swims out, being care­ful not to give too much rope which will slow the swim­mer down with excess weight, nor to let too lit­tle line out which will hold their swim­mer back.

Divi­sions for the belt race include U17, U19 and Open.