About Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club Patrols


Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club is a volunteer organisation run by members who are dedicated to community safety and protecting members of the public who surf and swim at our beautiful beach.

Patrol Proud

Since 1908, the surf club has continually patrolled the beach for the benefit of the general public. The club can proudly state that since that first day, no lives have been lost at the beach while patrolling members have been on duty.






Patrolling Our Beach

Freshwater Beach is one of the most popular of Sydney’s 21 Northern beaches for families, surfers, bathers, locals and visitors alike. With around 3,000 people on the beach and in the water a day, on weekends and public holidays during the summer months, we are kept very busy. Surf patrols are being conducted by our volunteers during the Patrol season from September to April each year.

Patrol Hours for Freshwater SLSC

Surf Life Saving Northern Beaches branch determines the minimum number of hours that Freshwater SLSC must patrol the beach throughout different times of the season. They also determine the minimum number of people Freshwater must have on patrol. 

Please Note: Patrol Hours for each season are published by Surf Life Saving Northern Beaches and therefore subject to change. Please check Surf Life Saving SNB website to get updates.

Prior to the patrolling season commencing, the Club Captain issues all patrolling members their patrol roster. This roster explains which patrol each patrolling member has been assigned as well as the Patrol Captain and the dates for patrol duty. This is available to Patrolling members of the club on the FreshNET website.

Rescue Equipment

Our Surf Lifesaving patrol members use a wide variety of equipment and their skills to assist in patrolling our beach. Rescue equipment from Rescue Tubes, Rescue Boards to Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB) and Jet Skis (RWC) , made available to Patrols to accommodate difficult surf environments and its many hazards.

Patrol Methods

The most regular methods of patrolling performed by our Surf Life Savers include:

Between the Flags

This is the most commonly used and requires setting up of flags at the best place for the bathing public, taking into consideration the prevailing surf conditions, accessibility of the public, and usage of the beach.

It requires placing equipment on the beach. The patrol members can then monitor the bathing community in this area by watching both ends of the flagged area using the patrol area as base.

Roving Method

Roving method is used in conjunction with the “between the flags” method. The flagged area is set and manned, as in the between the flags method. The patrol captain then designates pairs of patrol members who move back and forth along the beach, watching outside the flagged areas. This method of patrol can use IRBs and motorised beach vehicles (ATVs) and extends the boundaries of the patrol for surveillance of the beach and surrounding areas.

Outpost Method

This method involves using the between the flags system, at the most popular swimming area but allows a minimum patrol (outpost) to be set up, usually without flags, at a less popular swimming area. This type of patrol also enables clubs to provide a lifesaving service to beaches that have no surf lifesaving club or to extend the boundaries of the patrol for wider surveillance of the beach and surrounding areas.

Become a Patrol Member

If you would like to become a Surf Life Saver at our Club and make a positive difference to the safety of the community, our beaches and be part of a wider Australian icon, Surf Life Saving Australia.

Please visit our Membership section for information on how to join and membership types.