Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend edition: things that get easier and harder every year

It gets easier every year to read bank balance sheets.  I get a lot of practice and it is not aerobic.  And this is despite the acrobatics banks perform in their accounting.

But on the weekend I did something that gets harder each year – the annual proficiency test to be a volunteer surf lifesaver at Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club. 

Also I took a rescue board for a long paddle with my 8 year old lying on the front.  Not a great sight…

More work required!


John Hempton said...

For those that are interested: yes I passed the proficiency - but I only just got in within the time limit.

Anonymous said...

Congrats John.

May I suggest a future post to your blog? I'd love to read about how you go about reading a bank balance sheet or even some of the things you look for when analyzing a bank.

Unknown said...

Congrats John, and well done on doing your bit with the Surf Lifesavers.

I was stupid enough to get myself caught in a rip one afternoon, and pretty much before I knew I was in trouble a surf lifesaver had turned up asking if I could use some help. Was tough getting back in on his board, but I'm glad he was there!

My wife donates to the SLSA each year as a result.

Most of us take for granted that we have great beaches in Sydney that are looked after by fantastic volunteers. We shouldn't, but we do. So thanks.

Now, back to those balance sheets.. :)


John Hempton said...

Ah quarrel - you got a stronger surf lifesaver than your blogger...

My attitude to swimmers caught in rips is to jump in the same rip as the poor unfortunate swimmer with two tubes (floatation devices you put around the swimmer).

Give one tube to the patient and keep the other for myself and just explain to the poor soul what has happened.

Float there (drifting way out past the breakers) until the swimmer has sort of recovered and explain how you might successfully swim in. Meanwhile flag down a more competent surf lifesaver than myself who will come out with the rescue board.

Sometimes victim swims in (avoiding the rip) but mostly they take the ride.

Then I swim in, sorry and exhausted.

I have done 16 rescues - all the same way. A few of the customers did not realise they were in trouble - so you just hung around them until they realised. Then they were glad you were there. Mostly it is children (a lot of 9 year olds). Then their parents are more glad that you are there.

I hope I never have to deal with someone unconscious when I get there - because I am not sure I would cope. As I said my board skills are very sorry (proved by taking out the 8 year old) - and getting an unconscious swimmer onto a board is a tricky operation in big surf.

At Bronte Beach they have board rescue training on Saturday afternoons. I think I got to go - but I am going to be in LA and NYC for the next two Saturdays.

I have seen the other type of rescue at Bondi - young English girl deliberately gets herself into a rip and is rescued by strapping young lifesaver. Never happens to me though as I am neither young nor strapping...


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