The IRB, or inflatable rescue boat has well and truly become the most important tool surf lifesavers utilise in protecting the public on our beaches. IRBs play a very important part in the Lifeguard movement by providing a quick and effective way of providing preventative measures and rescue services during patrol hours (over 70% of all rescues are performed by IRBs).
Waimārama SLSC has a very proud team of IRB crew & drivers within our club. To keep the skills of IRB crews honed SLSNZ hold regional and national competitions, these events are awesome and there is a real team effort and club spirit when our crews are racing at these events.
Crews all work together to achieve individual and club goals. It’s definitely a sight to be seen when an IRB throttles full steam into the air off the face of a teetering green wave! Our crew’s travel the country competing in a range of competitions. Waimārama have a proud record of achieving well at both regional and national competitions in the fields of IRB assembly, single rescue and mass rescue.
A crew is made up of a driver, crewman and patient. To launch yourself into the world of IRBs, the first step is to join the club! Sign up and get onto a bronze course to become a surf lifesaver. From there you can railroad up the pecking order from IRB crewman, to IRB driver right up to IRB examiner.
IRB Crewman’s Awards
The IRB crewman’s award is designed to teach safe crewing of our inflatable rescue boats, and all other responsibilities of the crewman. Practically taught, this course covers all aspects of patrol usage of IRBs, including launching, beaching, signal communication, and performing rescues. For more information, or to register your interest in this award, please email IRB Instructor at [email protected]
Prerequisites: SLSNZ Member, Surf Lifeguard Award (Bronze Medallion), Aged 14+
Senior Lifeguard Award-IRB Driver
The IRB Driver’s Award is designed to teach safe driving of our inflatable rescue boats, through all aspects of patrol. Practically taught, this course fulfils the IRB driver pathway of the Senior Lifeguard Award. Skills taught include solo driving, normal driving, basic engine maintenance, nautical law, rescues, and signal communication. For more information, or to register your interest in this award, please email IRB Instructor at [email protected]
Prerequisites: SLSNZ Member, Surf Lifeguard Award (Bronze Medallion), IRB Crewman’s Award, VHF Radio Operator’s Certificate, Aged 16+
VHF Radio Operator’s Certificate
This course teaches the safe and legal use of VHF radios in New Zealand. Run by the Coastguard, this course is a prerequisite for many other opportunities in surf lifesaving. For more info please email our Club secretary on [email protected]
Prerequisites: SLSNZ Member, Surf Lifeguard Award (Bronze Medallion)
To be a patient you just need your bronze award and a good attitude
IRBs are also used to provide water safety during both Junior and Senior Surf Life Saving competitions, provide water safety for external water events (e.g. sea and lake swims, triathlons), and also used during water based search and rescues.