Life's a beach
Apr. 16, 2019
Mitsui E&P Australia’s General Manager Exploration and Geoscience, Andy Furniss is committed to contributing to the community in which he lives. Andy is an active member of his local surf life saving club at Manly Beach NSW, where he volunteers patrolling the beach as a lifesaver, is a coach in the nippers program and an official at nippers events through the year.
“As a lifesaver, much of our work is about prevention and education but we regularly perform rescues of people that get caught out by the Australian surf conditions. I hold qualifications in aquatic rescue, first aid, CPR, emergency life support and advanced resuscitation,” Andy said.
Andy is also involved in the junior surf lifesaving nippers program. Every Sunday morning from September through to late March Andy gives his time to teach future lifesavers, kids aged between 5-14, in all aspects of Surf Life Saving. As they progress through the age groups, the nippers learn wading, running, ocean swimming, board paddling and lifesaving skills as well as the basics of resuscitation and first aid.
“The kids learn a lot of skills and build confidence that will hopefully one day encourage them to be lifesavers of the future. It is very satisfying to watch kids start the program terrified of waves but over the years become confident in big surf and have the knowledge and skills to save themselves and others.”
Throughout the year the nippers program holds events between competing surf clubs. As an accredited Surf Sports Official, Andy works to ensure that the events run smoothly and adjudicates the competitions. This culminates each year at the NSW State Championships where more 2,500 nippers compete over three days.
For Andy being a volunteer member of a Surf Life Saving Club is about having fun and making a contribution by working to protect the community and fostering the next generation of lifesavers.
“My aim is to ensure that the beach is a safe place to swim for everyone and to develop and educate our youth. As long as you are prepared to have a go, Surf Life Saving is an opportunity to make a difference and a great excuse to spend your summer at the beach.”