Surf rescue involves using surfboards, but they're not exactly the boards you're familiar with from surfing or SUP. Our boards are long enough and stable enough to load a second person onto the front end - conscious or unconscious - and come with handles so that swimmers in need of aid can easily grab on. Our boards also come in smaller versions for children - these are the boards we use in our Nippers program - as well as sleeker versions for surf rescue competitions.
How do we use our boards? Typically our water safety volunteers paddle on the boards while lying down or kneeling, and we put one or two people on them. The person at the front is generally someone being rescued, or another team member participating in lifesaving race. And yes, we do use them to catch waves when returning to shore. Participants in our water safety courses learn all these skills.
Israel Life Saving Federation gets its boards straight from Australia, where they are made by the veteran manufacturer Bennett Surfboards - no, there's no relation to Israel's prime minister, and contrary to appearances, our boards are entirely apolitical (many of you have asked). Our CEO Paul Hakim visited the Bennett headquarters for a little tour, and we've brought you some photographs.