Patrol Duty


Patrols are the essence of the Surf Life Saving movement.  Patrols offer the opportunity to protect, serve and become involved in our local community, save lives, improve skills, make great friends, and spend time at our beautiful beach.

Our volunteer patrolling members join a patrol team at the completion of their Bronze Medallion (Award).  Patrol teams work the season together on weekends and public holidays and are rostered approximately 10 times per patrol season.  The patrol season starts from the first day of the spring NSW public school holidays in September and finishes on the last Sunday of the Autumn NSW public school holidays, or Anzac Day if it falls after.

Patrol shifts are either 9:00am – 12:30pm or 12:30pm – 5:00pm with extended hours (to 6:00pm) during the busy Christmas period.   Patrolling members are notified their patrol roster prior to the season starting.  The roster can also be accessed via the Members’ Portal and an SMS reminder is sent in the lead up to each rostered Patrol.

Patrolling members are required to update their Awards annually by completing a Skills Maintenance (Proficiency) Assessment by 31 December each year.  Members who do not complete their proficiencies are suspended from patrols after 31 December.   For further information on Proficiency refer to our Skills Maintenance page.


Our Club signs a Lifesaving Service Agreement with the local council each season under which we are obliged to provide patrols every weekend and public holiday throughout the patrol season.

All Club patrols, as a minimum, are required to have on-duty personnel with the following qualifications for the duration of the base patrol:

  • 3 x Bronze (Cert II) qualified members (proficient)
  • 1 x IRB Driver (proficient)*
  • 1 x IRB Crew (proficient)*
  • 1 x ARTC (proficient) *
  • 1 x Silver Medallion Basic Beach Management*

*Note: These awards may be held by the 3 x Bronze holders.

Branches and/or Clubs may set minimum personnel number and qualification requirements above the SLSNSW minimums.  At Avalon Beach we are required to have a minimum of 4 Bronze holders during our 8:30am to 5:00pm patrol days and 5 Bronze holders during our 8:30am to 6:00pm patrol days.

Patrol Obligations

As volunteer Lifesavers we have committed to providing a service to the community.  In order to provide this service it is vital that every active member meets their patrol obligations.  In order to receive full member benefits, patrolling members must fulfil the following patrol obligations:

  • Be financial, including payment of Carnival levies (if applicable)
  • Complete annual skills maintenance requirements prior to due date
  • Attend all rostered patrols
  • Patrolling members are also required to assist at our two major fundraising events: McGrath Pittwater Carols at the Beach,  usually held the last Saturday before Christmas Day, and the Avalon Beach Ocean Swim, usually held on the third Sunday in January
  • Patrolling members who do not meet their patrol obligations may be asked to perform penalty patrols or have their member benefits reduced or removed, including competition rights.
  • Full patrol uniform must be worn including patrol cap, at all times during patrol.
  • Active members must complete their annual skills maintenance (proficiency) in at least one award and a minimum of 20 patrol hours to qualify for active membership in the following season.

A Patrol Captain relies on their team to turn up, on time, in full patrol uniform and ready for patrol.  If you cannot make your patrol date, you MUST arrange a substitute and let your Patrol Captain know.  You must ensure that your sub has the adequate awards to cover your shift.

If an urgent event means that you cannot attend a patrol at the last minute, notify your Patrol Captain by phone as soon as possible and asked to be recorded in the patrol log as “excused”.  If you do not show up to a patrol you will be recorded as a “no show” and may be subject to the penalties described above.

Your rostered patrol hours will be recorded as completed if you arrange a substitute for any patrol you cannot attend and complete corresponding substitute or voluntary patrols.


How to find a sub

Post a request for a sub or to swap a patrol shift on our closed Facebook group. If you would like to join this group search for Avalon Beach SLSC Closed Group on Facebook and send a friend request.

Log in to the Members Area (Portal) and request a sub.