Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Sam Coleman, Jayd Maynard, Kerry Gunther and Nathan Fitzsimons at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Sam Coleman, Jayd Maynard, Kerry Gunther and Nathan Fitzsimons at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb

IN PHOTOS: Faces behind the red and yellow uniform

THEY are as iconic to the Australian summer as a hot sanger on the barbecue and backyard cricket.

And the red and yellow uniformed heroes are officially back on the Tweed Coast beaches as the 2020/21 volunteer patrolling season for the Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Branch kicked off this weekend.

Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Jack Hall, Koby Roberts and Kyle Roberts at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Jack Hall, Koby Roberts and Kyle Roberts at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb

The annual ‘Raising of the Flags’ ceremony at Cudgen Headland Surf Club on Saturday morning was followed by a paddle-in by the rostered patrol for the morning, ‘The Flying Fish’.

Every weekend and public holiday, Tweed surf life savers will volunteer at the four local clubs – Fingal, Cudgen, Salt and Kingscliff – to keep beachgoers safe in the water.

Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Sam Coleman and Matt Hall at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Sam Coleman and Matt Hall at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb

They will be backed up by the two support jetskis based at Cudgen who assist existing beach patrols as well as four drones to spot sharks and dangers from the air.

<<READ MORE: What council’s shark drone vote means for our surf clubs>>>

Far North Coast duty officer Garry Meredith said it was the perfect time of year for anyone who had ever wanted to join a local surf club.

Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Belinda Mirana, Shantel Gregoraci and patrol captain Chris Gunther at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Belinda Mirana, Shantel Gregoraci and patrol captain Chris Gunther at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb

“It’s the time when all the members are doing proficiency tests and requalifying for the season,” he said.

“We will also be running Bronze Medallion classes – for a person off the street, that’s the first step to getting some beach experience.

Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Jack Hall, Koby Roberts and Kyle Roberts at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Jack Hall, Koby Roberts and Kyle Roberts at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb

“I think it’s a really great community service, it makes you feel good giving back to the community, you get to meet some awesome people and spend time on the beach.”

Mr Meredith said it was always important to remember to swim between the red and yellow flags and ask if you are unsure.

Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Jayd Maynard, Nathan Fitzsimons and Kerry Gunther at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Salt Surf Life Saving Club's Jayd Maynard, Nathan Fitzsimons and Kerry Gunther at the beginning of the 20/21 season. Photo: Jessica Lamb

“Our surf lifesavers are friendly and always willing to help, if you are unsure about anything please ask,” he said.

For more information about becoming a surf lifesaver, approach your local surf club.