Downs Little Lifeguards program

Downs Little Lifeguards is a fun and educational drowning prevention program for children aged 9-17 years and their parents/guardians. Our main focus is to educate children and their guardians about potential dangers and survival strategies to combat these dangers, encourage confidence through hands-on experience and provide knowledge so everyone can help to save a life. The program is run by Royal Lifesaving volunteers and Toowoomba Region Aquatic and Fitness staff. This is not a learn to swim program. 

The programs highlight four key areas:

  • Survival swimming and water safety
  • Rescue and recovery techniques
  • Aquatic environments and dangers
  • Ocean, dam and creek awareness

The emphasis is on the following aquatic environments:

  • Beaches, dams, rivers, spillways, weirs and waterholes

Families will participate in land and water based activities during the day trips. The locations allow participants to experience varying aquatic conditions ie. murky water, sand or mud base environments, currents, tides and rips. This is not a learn to swim program.


2018 Downs Little Lifeguard program 

In 2018 we are offering 2 programs - one to the beach and one to the dam. You can book in for a single day trip or join us for both experiences. 

  1. Beach experience day: Miami Surf Life Saving Club – Miami Beach, 25 February 2018, 9am - 3pm
  2. Dam busters day: Leslie Dam – YMCA outdoor education facility, 11 March 2018, 9am – 3pm


  • Children must be 9yrs to 17yrs of age.
  • Children and adults must be capable of swimming 50m continuously (adults- if participating in water activities).
  • The program cost of $15 per location must be paid.
  • An adult must be responsible for a child or group of children on the day.
  • We encourage adults to volunteer either in the water, on land as spotters or assisting with the BBQ/refreshments.
  • Children will split into two age groups 9-12 years and 13-17 years. Parents please note that siblings may be separated to meet age group requirements. This allows for 2 levels of activities. 
  • Children are encouraged to wear the Downs Little Lifeguard rash shirt which can be purchased at a cost of $25 (if a rash shirt is owned from a previous program, please wear it on the day).

How to apply

To join the Downs Little Lifeguards program you can:



Beach experience day,  Miami Surf Life Saving Club – Miami Beach

  • Date and time: 25 February 2018, 9am - 3pm, 
  • Address: 2 Hythe St, Miami QLD 4220

This beach day trip allows for the practice of drills and skills in a very different environment with some skills taught by surf life savers. We will form groups and rotate through activities that will take place in the surf or on the beach. Games such as beach sprints, porpoising and current riding are among the favorites for the day, mixed in with learning about currents, rips and tides.

While this can be an exciting time it can also be a challenging time for some. As usual, parent participation is needed.

Activities will be dependent on the conditions of the water and the weather. The experienced lifesavers will guide us through the day and discuss with us the best ways we may be able to keep safe in all conditions.


Dam Busters Day, Leslie Dam – YMCA outdoor education facility

  • Date and time: 11 March 2018, 9am – 3pm, 
  • Address: 578 Leslie Dam Road, Warwick Qld 4370

On this day we will carry out scenarios and conduct rescues, using water crafts and recreational aids. Team leaders will take participants through a safety talk and show a series of short videos before teaching resuscitation skills. Children will form groups and rotate through exciting activities in the water and on the land throughout the day.

Parent participation is needed and we recommend that younger siblings do not accompany you on this day as the surroundings do not allow for general play. Participants will be notified closer to the event if the venue changes due to water levels and dam closures.

downslittlelifeguardgrouponbeachIn February/March 2014 children and adults were involved in a 4 session program where 3 sessions were held in the pool learning rescues, tows, treading water, swimming with clothes and survival techniques.

A day trip was held at Neptune Royal Surf Life Saving Club where children practised what was learned in the pool while incorporating the natural elements of the tides, rips, and currents. 



lifesavingcraftwithadultsandchildrenIn October/November, 2015 children and adults participated in a 2 day pool course and a day trip to Neptune Royal Surf Life Saving Club where the focus was on tidal change, currents, rips and river swimming.





downs little lifeguards dam dayIn February 2017 families traveled to Leslie Dam YMCA Outdoor Education Centre and engaged in a full day dam experience. Children and adults learned CPR and the dangers in and around dams, weirs and water channels in theory sessions.

Participants practiced rescues and survival methods using everyday items commonly used at dams during recreation such as esky’s, paddle boards, kayaks, inflatable tubes, ropes and personal flotation devices.

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