The City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club patrols City Beach within the Perth Metropolitan area. The patrol area spans over 2 km from Swanbourne Nedlands SLSC in the south to Floreat SLSC in the north, however a swimming area is generally placed close to the club rooms on Challenger Parade and close to the City Beach Groyne. We patrol the area from the first week in October to the last weekend in March. We patrol on Saturday and Sundays and all public holidays except Christmas Day.
City of Perth SLSC has a proud tradition in patrolling City Beach and has been one of the outstanding WA clubs, winning the State Patrol Efficiency Competition a record 23 times.
The common beach type is a Reflective beach, with a small sand bar, few rips and mainly plunging waves. Two man made rock groynes approximately 500 metres apart were built to retain sand and prevent winter sand erosion. These groynes provide a breaking point for swells, allowing surfing to take place at the beach. Over the winter months the beach will retreat some 100m towards the sand dunes and club rooms. The change between winter and summer conditions can be dramatic. Winter months see larger surf and longer sandbanks and a Transverse Bar and Rip beach type.
Dangers encountered by lifesavers at City Beach include spinal and other injuries caused by plunging waves and rips around both the City Beach and Floreat groynes. The patrolling lifesaver must also be aware of dangers on the beach including snakes which make their way to the beach from the nearby sand dunes. City Beach is a family beach and lifesavers often assist parents in locating lost children.
The swimming area patrolled by City of Perth SLSC is also unique in that the observation tower is located on the City Beach groyne and gives the patrolling lifesaver a view from above the swimming area and further out to sea than most swimmers. On windy days, however, the tower can become unusable and a secondary observation point in the clubrooms is utilised.
City of Perth SLSC, along with Floreat SLSC, is within the Town of Cambridge local council. The Town of Cambridge is one of the first councils in Australia to have a detailed beach usage policy for all beach users. Board riding, swimming and fishing are restricted at certain times and in certain areas. Whilst causing some heartache for avid beach users, the policy is proving of benefit to all users and protects all groups from injury. For details of the policy refer to the Beach Inspector or signs located on both the Floreat and City Beach groynes.
Our patrolling area, duties and requirements are covered by a Lifesaving Service Agreement between the Club, the Town of Cambridge and SLSWA. Patrol captains have a copy and knowledge of this agreement.