The origins of Surf Life Saving can be traced back to the actions of Mr William Gocher at Manly Beach in September 1902, defying the law of the time by bathing during prohibited hours (daylight). His and similar actions by other people forced the recognition of daylight bathing and the pastime of surfing became part of our national culture.
As surf bathing grew in popularity, its dangers just as rapidly became apparent. Small groups of experienced and regular surfers began to form themselves into lifesaving bodies to assist those who required to be rescued from an unfamiliar environment.
As these clubs grew in size and numbers, the need for a united front to raise funds and seek assistance from local and state government resulted in the New South Wales Surf Bathing Association being formed on 18 October 1907.
The Surf Life Saving Central Coast Branch was formed in October 1938 at a meeting with the 5 original Central Coast surf clubs: The Entrance, Terrigal, Avoca Beach, Killcare and Ocean Beach.
At that time, Surf Life Saving was growing at a rapid rate and the administration requirements were becoming a burden on the head State Centre.
The leaders from the five founding clubs also recognised the need with the growing population on the Central Coast and increased demands at the beaches.
After the establishment of the Branch there was a temporary holt in the further advancement of Surf Life Saving during the years of World War II before renewed growth slowly accelerated and the other fifteen (15) affiliated clubs on the Central Coast were formed finishing with North Entrance SLSC in 1977.
Since this time Surf Life Saving has been embraced by the Central Coast community and gone from strength to strength with our operations.
On record we have saved 33,889 Lives since 1977, but it is fair to say that over 50,000 people in danger have been rescued by our courageous and dedicated red and yellow army of volunteers on the Central Coast.
SLSCC is recognised Australia-wide for our innovative culture as throughout our history we have been a leader of the Surf Life Saving movement.
Some supporting examples of this can be seen in the major achievements by SLSCC, such as:
- Formation of the first Rescue helicopter service which operated on the Central Coast by our volunteers between 1977 and 1982.
- Throughout the 70’s and 80’s we had one of the leading Power Surf Rescue Divisions in the Country with Jet Boats located at The Entrance, Terrigal and Broken Bay.
- Soldiers Beach SLSC are recognised Australia wide as one of the pioneers of the IRB
- SLSCC was instrumental in setting up the nippers movement
- We were one of the first branches to introduce RWC’s and continue to have one of the strongest services in Australia
- In 1977/78 Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Terrigal for the Royal Carnival
- In 1995 we were the first Branch to introduce the Rookie Lifesaver Program, still going strong today
- In 1999 the Community Education program was introduced which is one of the most successful of its kind in Australia
- Gosford City Council was the only Council with a Water Safety Rate Levy – Introduced in 1998 thanks to the innovation and lobbying of our members
- We have a strong culture of overseas touring teams – In the 1970’s and 1980’s, SLSCC toured the United States, Canada, Hawaii, and New Zealand on various tours. Something unheard of to other branches at the time. To this day SLSCC sends a Representative team to NZ on a regular basis.
SLSCC continues to grow from strength to strength and we continue to be one of the leading Branches having won the SLSNSW Branch of the Year Award six (6) times in the past ten (10) years.