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While there are some young people in remote rural areas who can only dream of their first trip to the beach, most Australian kids grow up with the sand between their toes and embedded in their swimming costumes. Around age 6, kids get serious about surf safety. Many join junior surf-lifesaving clubs, known as Nippers, and as teenagers spend their summers patrolling the beaches as lifesavers.
Surf lifesaving was established in Australia in 1907. Lifesavers patrol the beach under the direction of a captain, setting out flags on the beach to direct swimmers into safe areas. Since the establishment of the club, the volunteers in their colourful caps have rescued more than 350,000 swimmers.