Call 000 for a lifesaver

INFORMATION about swimmers in trouble will be immediately sent through to surf lifesaving volunteers under a new system due for introduction this season.

Hunter Surf Lifesaving chief executive Rhonda Scruton said the SMS system would immediately pass on Triple Zero calls to lifesavers.

Under the new system on-call members will be contacted with a text message and will respond if they are able to attend, Ms Scruton said.

The same system will also notify council lifeguards.

Ms Scruton said the system would provide a quicker response than a system of phone calls between state and branch officers in the first instance.

Emergency services will also be dispatched at the same time lifesavers rally their resources.

Anyone who sees a swimmer in trouble should call Triple Zero.

Facelift for Surf Clubs 

A MAJOR facelift for six Newcastle surf clubs is gaining momentum.

Organisers are seeking hundreds of volunteers for weekends in October to restore Stockton, Nobbys, Cooks Hill, Newcastle, Merewether and Dixon Park surf clubs.

The Newcastle Herald has reported CityServe, an organisation representing churches throughout the Hunter Region, will recruit hundreds of volunteers to improve several Newcastle surf clubs.

Newcastle City Council staff have also helped with the work, which Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy donated a quarter of his annual salary towards.

CityServe’s Pastor Rick Prosser said the recruitment was well underway.

He said there were some specific gaps to fill, including tilers for parts of Nobbys and Stockton, but all volunteers were welcome.

‘‘We are after some trade-based help [but] most of the other work is painting so anyone can be involved,’’ Mr Prosser said.

Hunter Surf Lifesaving chief executive Rhonda Scruton said the generosity of Hunter businesses, CityServe and the commitment from the council were a major boost to the region’s lifesavers.

Ms Scruton said the new-look clubs would add to the Hunter branch’s recognition as Surf Life Saving NSW Branch of the Year and most significant contributor to water safety.

Ms Scruton said the volunteers’ efforts would mean a lot to lifesavers using ageing clubs.

‘‘They were built for 60 men years ago,’’ Ms Scruton said.

Volunteer registration and information on the projects is available at