On an island with such an extensive coastline as Jersey, where a diverse range of aquatic activities are undertaken by a majority of the population, there is a real need for an increase in knowledge of our beach environment.
Teaching surfing at St. Ouen's Bay has provided us with an insight into Jersey's beach users and the generally low level of awareness about using a surf beach. Here at the Jersey Surf School our aim is to educate beach users about surf safety and to promote our beaches and surfing as a healthy and safe sport for locals and tourists alike.
Our campaign began in June 2001, when we produced our first 'Surf Safe' summer booklet, giving information about all aspects of enjoying Jersey beaches in the safest possible manner. Included in the booklet is information about pre-surf checks, rip currents and wave types. These are provided to all those who surf with us, as well as being available from surf shops, beach cafes and hotels.
We are also visiting local schools, teaching students about surf safety during school assembly or class presentations. This has enabled us to talk to large numbers of young beach users and promote surfing as a healthy, fun and most importantly, safe sport.
We believe that by educating our local community, we can help reduce the number of incidents and make the beach a safe place to be this summer.