I’m doing a surf life saving course with Stevie from Dunbar Surf Life Saving Club and Strive. I didn’t realise it but this is taken very seriously, and I don’t mean it’s treated as important. In canoeing first aid and safety & rescue is done as an important part of other qualifications but in surfing it’s a sport in itself with whole qualifications, studies, clubs, national governing bodies and competitions. Even the warm ups get turned into entire competitive disciplines with their own tactics and serious prize money. We played the flag game to warm up which is a knockout game/deadly competition.
University departments have entire professorships for studying the best way to run into the sea. You start with running through shallow water using a silly looking run with hands held high and skipping your feet out to the side to lift your feet above the water. Once the water is knee height you start to porpoise which is a duck dive into the water then push off the bottom and back up to duck dive again. Then front crawl keeping hands up high and head out the water to see where you’re going.
When a wave comes you can dive under it. When swimming parallel to the beach, remember to breath with head turned towards the shore to not get waves in your mouth.
When you reach the victim don’t go near them, they’ll just pull you under and drown you. Instead ask 5 questions: are you alone? have you taken in water? have you been unconscious? have you hit your head? are you on any medications? Then you can give the victim any float you have and guide them back to shore.
On returning to shore you can body surf waves to give you more speed.