They protect people at our beaches, ready and waiting to go at only a moment’s notice. But the lifeguards and lifesavers in the Port Macquarie-Hastings do more than just save lives, they help reunite people with property lost at the beach.
Port Macquarie-Hastings head lifeguard James Turnham said the lifeguards and the volunteer lifesavers find lost property on our beaches every day.
“Almost daily lost property is turned in to the lifeguards and lifesavers across the Hastings and we try our best to return it where we can,” Mr Turnham said.
“In the past we have had wedding rings, jewellery, surfboards, rash vests, mobile phones and wallets handed in to us, but probably the most common item we get are sunglasses.
“We are guaranteed pretty much every day to get a least one pair of sunnies turned in to the tower.”
Mr Turnham said that lifeguards usually build up a collection of lost items every couple of weeks that gets turned over to the police if no one comes to claim the property.
“If we get handed anything that has a lot of value we hand it into the police station so they can attempt to find the owners,” he said.
“When we are able to reunite people with their lost property sometimes they are embarrassed or are so relieved they are in tears when we give it back.
“Sometimes people try and offer us lifeguards money in return but we can’t take any gifts as payment.
“What I do encourage if people are insistent on giving something in return for their lost property is to make a donation to our wonderful surf lifesaving clubs as they are volunteer run.”
And at the end of the day, Mr Turnham said if you ever lose something at the beach check to see if it has been handed in.
“Everything item of lost property that gets handed in to us we have to make a record of so if you lose something at the beach always touch base with lifeguards and lifesavers to see if it has been handed in.”