Lifesaving sport was primarily intended to encourage lifesavers to develop, maintain and improve the essential physical and mental skills needed to save lives in the aquatic environment.
Lifesaving competitions consist of a variety of competitions to further develop and demonstrate lifesaving skills, fitness and motivation.
100m Obstacle Swim (Masters)
The competitor swims 100 m in freestyle during which he/she swims under four (4) immersed obstacles.
200m Obstacle Swim
The competitor swims 200 m in freestyle during which he/she swims under eight (8) immersed obstacles.
50m Manikin Carry
The competitor swims 25 m freestyle and then dives to recover a submerged manikin to the surface within 5 m of the pick-up line. The competitor then carries the manikin to the finish edge of the pool.
100m Rescue Medley
The competitor swims 50 m freestyle to turn, dive, and swim underwater to a submerged manikin located at 20m distance for men and 15m distance for women.
The competitor surfaces the manikin within the 5 m pick-up line, and then carries it the remaining distance to the finish edge of the pool.
100m Manikin Carry with Fins
The competitor swims 50 m freestyle wearing fins and then dives to recover a submerged manikin to the surface within 10 m of the turning edge.
The competitor carries the manikin to the finish edge of the pool.
100m Manikin Tow with Fins
The competitor swims 50 m freestyle with fins and rescue tube.
After touching the turning edge, the competitor fixes the rescue tube around a manikin floating at the surface at the edge and tows it to the finish.
200m Super Lifesaver
The competitor swims 75 m freestyle and then dives to recover a submerged manikin. The competitor surfaces the manikin within 5 m of the pick-up line and carries it to the turning edge. After touching the wall the competitor releases the manikin.
In the water, the competitor dons fins and rescue tube within 5 m of the turning edge and swims 50 m freestyle. After touching the wall the competitor fixes the rescue tube around a floating manikin within 5 m of the turning edge and tows it to touch the finish edge of the pool.
In this timed event, the competitor throws an unweighted line to a fellow team member located in the water approximately 12 m distant and pulls this “victim” back to the poolside.
4x25m Manikin Relay
Four competitors in turn carry a manikin approximately 25 m each.
4x50m Obstacle Relay
Four competitors swim 50 m freestyle each passing under two (2) obstacles.
4x50m Medley Relay
The first competitor swims 50 m freestyle without fins.
The second competitor swims 50 m freestyle with fins.
The third competitor swims 50 m freestyle pulling a rescue tube and after having touched the wall, passes the harness of the rescue tube to a fourth competitor who wears fins.
The third competitor, playing the role of “victim,” holds the rescue tube with both hands, while being towed 50 m by the fourth competitor to the finish.
With a running start into the surf from the start line on the beach, competitors swim around the 400 m (approximate) course designated by buoys, returning to shore to finish between the finish flags on the beach.
Surf Teams Race
With a running start into the surf from the start line on the beach, all three (3) members of each team swim around the 400 m (approximate) course designated by buoys, returning to shore to finish between the finish flags on the beach.
Rescue Tube Rescue
The event consists of four persons – a patient, a Rescue Tube swimmer and two rescuers.
The rescue tube swimmer swims out behind the buoy line to secure the rescue tube around the patient and then tow the patient back to the beach.
On return to the beach, two rescuers must drag or carry the patient past the finish line.
Rescue Tube Race
On the acoustic starting signal, the competitors race up the beach to recover their rescue tubes, don their belt/harness, enter the water and swim to their designated buoy and after touching it, lift their arm to mark the end of the event.
Run Swim Run
From the start line, competitors run to pass around the turning flag and enter the water to swim out to and around the buoys. Competitors swim back to the beach to again run round the turning flag before running to the finish line.
From a prone starting position on the beach, competitors rise, turn and race to obtain a baton (beach flag) buried upright in the sand approximately 20 m away.
Since there are always fewer batons than competitors, those who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated.
Competitors take their positions in their allotted lanes. At the starting signal, competitors race the 90 m course to the finish line. The finish is judged on the competitor’s chest crossing the finish line. Competitors must finish the event on their feet in an upright position.
2 km: Competitors race 2.000m on the beach in four 500m legs
1 km: Competitors race 1.000m on the beach in four 500m legs
Teams of 4 individuals (3 in Masters) compete in baton relay fashion over a 90 m course.
To start, 2 (1 and 2 members in Masters) competitors take positions in their allotted lane at each end of the course.
After the start each competitor completes a leg of the course with a baton held in either hand and passes the baton at the conclusion of the first, second, and third legs to the next runner.
Surf Ski Race
Competitors steady their skis in line in knee-deep water about 1,5 m apart.
Competitors must obey directions from the starter or check starter concerning ski alignment at the start.
On the starting signal, competitors paddle their skis around the course marked by buoys and return to finish when any part of the ski crosses the in-water finish line – ridden, gripped, or carried by the competitor.
Surf Ski Relay
The ski relay race shall be conducted under the general rules of the ski race. Teams shall consist of 3 competitors, who may use the same craft.
Competitors stand on or behind the start line on the beach with their boards 1,5 m apart.
At the start signal, competitors enter the water, launch their boards, and paddle the course marked by buoys, return to the beach, and run to cross the finish line.
The Board Relay event shall be conducted under the general rules of the Board Race event. Teams shall consist of 3 competitors, who may use the same craft.
In this event, 1 member of the team races approximately 120 m to a designated buoy, signals, and waits to be picked up by the second member of the team on a board.
They both paddle to shore and cross the finish line on the beach with the board.
Competitors cover a 1,200 m course that includes a swim leg, a board leg, a surf ski leg, and a beach sprint finish. Conditions of racing of each leg are as generally required for the individual conditions of that discipline including the rules governing the component disciplines: surf ski races, board races, surf races, beach sprints.
Teams of 4 competitors (1 swimmer, 1 board paddler, 1 surf ski paddler, and 1 runner) cover the course in a sequence of legs determined by draw at the start of each world championship programme.
The run leg is always the final leg.
If the ski leg is first, competitors shall start with a typical in-water start.
(Masters: Teams of 3 competitors – 1 swimmer, 1 board paddler, 1 surf ski paddler. There is no running leg in Masters Ocean Relay.)
Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC)
The Simulated Emergency Response Competition tests the initiative, judgment, knowledge, and abilities of 4 lifesavers who, acting as a team, apply lifesaving skills in a simulated emergency situation unknown to them prior to the start. This competition is judged within a 2-minute time limit. All teams respond to the identical situation and are evaluated by the same judges.
Surf Boat Events
Surf Boat Race
Boat crews stand in knee-deep water holding their boats about 23 m apart.
After the starting signal, crews row around the assigned turning buoys positioned approximately 400 m from the start and return to the beach.
The finish is determined by any part of the hull crossing the finish line from the seaward side, between the designated flags.
Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Events
Teams are comprised of 1 victim, 1 driver, and 1 crew member. The victim is positioned on the seaward side of the designated buoy.
The driver and crew member are on the beach side of the crew start / finish line adjacent to their beach position indicators.
On the starter’s signal, the crew launches the IRB, proceed through the surf to pick-up their victim, round their buoy, and return to shore to finish the event.
IRB Mass Rescue
IRB Team Rescue
Teams are comprised of 1 victim and 2 crews (1 driver and 1 crew member per crew). The victim is positioned on the seaward side of a designated buoy. Both crews are positioned on the beach side of the crew start / finish line adjacent to their beach position indicator.
On the starter’s signal, the first crew launch the IRB and proceed through the surf to the victim. On the inside of the turn as the IRB rounds the buoy, the crew member jumps overboard on the seaward side of the buoy. The driver completes the buoy turn and returns to shore alone.
Meanwhile the crew member of the second crew moves into the water.
The first driver stays in contact and in control of the IRB until the second crew member secures and takes control of the IRB. The first driver runs up the beach and crosses the crew start/finish line to tag the second driver who proceeds to the IRB.
The second crew re-launch the IRB, proceed through the surf, to pick-up the victim and the first crew member, round their buoy, and return to shore to finish the event.
IRB Rescue Tube
Teams are comprised of 1 victim, 1 driver, and 1 crew member. Victims are positioned at their respective victim buoys, set approximately 25 m on the seaward side of the turning buoys. Crew members are positioned on the beach side of the crew start / finish line, adjacent to their respective beach position indicators.
On the starter’s signal, competitors launch their IRBs, proceed through the surf and turn around their respective turning buoy. The crew member dons the rescue tube harness.
After the IRB has rounded the turning buoy, the crew member with harness donned and the rescue tube held in a secure grip, enters the water and swim past the turning buoy to their victims.
The crew member secures the rescue tube around the arms of the victim and tows the victim back to the IRB. Once the crew member makes contact with the IRB or driver, he or she may board before the victim. The driver may assist the crew member and / or victim into the IRB. Victims may assist themselves in boarding the IRB.
After the “victim lift” into the IRB has commenced, the driver drives the IRB around the team’s respective turning buoy and returns to shore to fin.