Way Back When – Life Saving Reel 1966 – Photo credit: Gympie Regional Library Collection
Photo taken 26 March 1966 at Rainbow Beach. Does anyone know who the lifesaver is? Let us know!
- The surf lifesaving reel is an Australian innovation and the rescue methods pioneered in Australia have been used throughout the world.
- Australian surf lifesaving clubs were the first in the world and in 1903 a group of swimmers formed the Bronte Beach Surf Club.They rigged up some rescue equipment consisting of a coil of rope on a pole stuck in the sand at the centre of the beach.
- In 1906 Lyster Ormsby of the Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club built a model from a cotton reel and two bobby pins of a portable horizontal reel for the rope.The first full-size reel was built by Sgt John Bond of Victoria Barracks in Paddington; and was improved on in the same year by Sydney coachbuilder GH Olding whose final design was used until 1993.
- The reel allowed a lifesaver wearing a belt with a rope attached to reach a distressed swimmer.The crew on the beach could then pull them back to the beach.
Photo credit: Gympie Regional Library Collection
Information credit: Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences Collection, object 52939