LIFE-SAVING TECHNIQUE: Ballina coast guard volunteer Lorraine Leuckel (left) instructs a CPR training workshop at the Ballina Beach Village, South Ballina, last Sunday.
LIFE-SAVING TECHNIQUE: Ballina coast guard volunteer Lorraine Leuckel (left) instructs a CPR training workshop at the Ballina Beach Village, South Ballina, last Sunday.

40 attend CPR course

THE tragedy of the double drowning at South Ballina beach in January prompted not only a CPR training day last Sunday, but also a fundraising campaign to buy a defibrillator for the community and tourists alike.


Rikki Grinberg, co-owner of the Ballina Beach Village caravan park at South Ballina, said the CPR training day most likely would have been held even despite the tragic event which saw the three children of Joe and Carole Sherry orphaned after the couple individually got into trouble in the surf at the unpatrolled beach.


Ms Grinberg said South Ballina had a ‘fantastic community’ which was committed to making their part of the world a safer place.


She said she was pleased that 40 people turned out to the CPR training day, which was run by Ballina coast guard volunteers with support from members of the Ballina Jet Boat Rescue.


“We want to improve the safety for residents and visitors to South Ballina,” Ms Grinberg said.


“We are a major tourist destination and safety is a primary concern for tourism providers.”


She said many of the participants in the workshop didn’t come from South Ballina, but had travelled over the Richmond River from Ballina.


She said people as young as six and as old as 70 attended.


Lorraine Leuckel is the coast guard’s first aid officer. “No matter what your age, you can learn CPR,” she said.
“It is a skill everyone should have.”


Another training day has been planned for May 16 at the Ballina Beach Village.


Meanwhile, the Ballina coast guard has launched the campaign to buy a defibrillator for the community. Last Sunday’s workshop also taught participants how to use the heart-starting device.


Three south-side businesses have already pledged $1200 to the campaign. Ms Grinberg said a defibrillator costs about $2900.


A fundraising night, organised by the Ballina coast guard, will be held at the Ballina Beach Village caravan park, 440 South Ballina Beach Road, on March 27. The feature of the night will be a performance by the Utopian Fire artists from 7pm.


Tickets to the event cost $15 and all funds will go towards the coast guard’s fundraising campaign for the defibrillator.


For more information on the event or to buy a ticket, phone 6686 3447.


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