Surf Life Saving Australia is Australia’s peak coastal water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority.

We take a risk management approach to coastal safety using evidence to ensure appropriate public education programs, mitigation strategies and lifesaving services are in place to address coastal safety issues and known drowning blackspots.

Through research and analysis, we determine the National Coastal Safety Agenda and deliver evidence-based drowning prevention initiatives in order to achieve the Australian Water Safety Strategy goal of a 50% reduction in coastal drowning deaths by 2020.

Water Safety Strategy Goal

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reduction in coastal drowning deaths by 2020


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Beachsafe provides expert advice about flags and signs, waves, rip currents, marine creatures, surf skills and more.

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Beachsafe includes information about location, facilities, weather conditions and lifesaving services for all Australian beaches.



SLS provides an integrated national lifesaving service including volunteer lifesavers and paid lifeguards as well as the Surf Life Saving Emergency Response system. Lifesavers and lifeguards are trained to nationally recognised standards under the Australian Qualifications Framework.


Our research initiatives include projects focused on rip current safety issues, development of a rocky coast hazard ratings, development of a standard for low-buoyancy lifejackets, evaluation of safety in surf sport, assessment of adaptions to cope with climate change and general drowning and injury epidemiology.


SLSA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Project Final Report - Surf Sports18 May 2015

Click here to read the Executive Summary.

Click here to read the Final Report.

Low-buoyancy Lifejackets – Results of Independent Testing Announced7 August 2014

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) in conjunction with James Cook University, VicLabs and SAI Global have completed testing to develop the world’s first specification/standard for low-buoyancy lifejackets.

The results, outlined in a report “Independent testing of less than level 50 buoyancy aids for Surf Life Saving Australia,” available today, have assisted in defining a specification for a new Level 25 class of lifejacket as part of a revised Australian Standard AS4758:1-3 Personal Flotation Devices.

Click here to read the Independent testing of less than level 50 buoyancy aids for Surf Life Saving Australia report.

Testing of new buoyancy aids for surf lifesaving kicks off11 April 2014

Surf Life Saving Australia in conjunction with James Cook University, VicLabs and SAI Global commenced the initial testing to develop the world’s first specification/standard for low-buoyancy water safety gear known as lifejackets.

The testing in Sydney, over Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th April 2014, will look at the minimum buoyancy levels required in lifejackets to bring a person to the surface, and the maximum buoyancy levels in lifejackets that allow individuals to move efficiently through the water without significantly impacting their physical exertion.

Click here for the media release.

Surf Life Saving Australia releases Independent Testing Report14 March 2014

Surf Life Saving Australia has released the report of independent testing in to the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) conducted by James Cook University (JCU), VicLabs and SAI Global. Independent testing of the use of surf helmets and buoyancy aids for non-powered craft (boards, surf skis and surf boats) commenced in September 2013, and further testing will continue in coming months. The new equipment is part of a number of new safety measures announced by Surf Life Saving Australia in August 2013 and ongoing continuous improvements across surf sports.

Click here for the Independent Testing Report.

Surf Life Saving Australia to support new standard for buoyancy aids (life jackets)24 February 2014

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has announced that it will support the Australian Standards Committee in developing a new Australian Standard specification for buoyancy aids for use in special performance activities including surf lifesaving. The outcomes of the recent independent testing of the existing Level 50 buoyancy aids and helmets – undertaken by SLSA in conjunction with independent agencies, James Cook University and SAI Global – have been fully supported by the SLSA Board.

Click here for the media release.

Click here, for the Independent Testing Executive Summary.

Implementation of PPEs – helmets1 November 2013

The use of helmets in surf boats in competition and training will now become mandatory from 1 October 2014. In consultation with the Australian Surf Rower’s League (ASRL) and States/Territory centres, SLSA has considered a number of factors in extending the operational testing period of the new safety measures, including an extensive training and education program to ensure that the helmets are correctly fitted. It will also allow a greater number of suppliers to be involved in being tested during the design phase of the new measures.

SLSA will continue its consultation to introduce helmets on surf boats, with safety first and foremost for members. Click here for Surf Boat Member Update Bulletin, released 1 November, 2013.

PPE testing to continue26 September 2013

SLSA will be continuing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Project as part of the new safety measures announced in August by conducting independent testing on the use of surf helmets and buoyancy aids for non-powered craft (boards, surf skis and surf boats).

SLSA has engaged VicLabs, James Cook University (JCU) and SAI Global to undertake the independent testing of the PPE.

For more information on the independent testing and SLSA specifications, please click here.

SLSA Announcement: Greg Nance, CEO & Graham Ford, President22 August 2013

As the peak water safety organisation – SLSA has the safety of its members and the public at the core.

Please click here to access the Member Bulletins on the implementation of safety equipment.

Please click here to view the Safety Announcement Media Release.


Surf Life Saving Australia has provided support and expertise to many allied lifesaving organisations across the globe. Contributing to the International Life Saving Federation’s global effort to reduce injury and death in, on, or around water, Surf Life Saving exchanges information and best practice and supports the establishment of lifesaving services in areas of the world where they are needed.

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