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Surf training could save lives

Australian and US forces have delivered potentially life-saving training during a visit to Patong Beach, Thailand.

Using amphibious vessels launched from HMAS Canberra, personnel from the Joint Task Force for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 and Surf Lifesaving Australia combined in Phuket to deliver equipment and training to the beach-loving community at Patong Beach.

Some 1500 life jackets and 20 rescue boards were delivered for surf lifesaving development throughout southern provinces in Thailand.

At the sound of a whistle, the children jumped into the water on their rescue boards and then into some CPR training.

Patron and co-founder of the Phuket Lifeguard Club, David Field, said Australians and Thais shared a love for the ocean and it was important to share expertise.

“Our beach culture and surf lifesaving practices are world class and they’re something we want to export,” Mr Field said.

“Today is a great day for Phuket lifesaving – many of the practices we see here today are the result of Australian cross-training and the adoption of the red and yellow flag system, and similar beach management techniques.”

The club has trained about 4000 local children in beach safety, with support from Australian and international surf rescue volunteers.

The Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Allan McKinnon, witnessed the enthusiasm and excitement.

“It’s a great event today with members of the local lifeguard club and the Indo-Pacific Endeavour Task Force delivering equipment and fun for the community,” Mr McKinnon said.

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