We all know lifeguards play a vital role making our beaches safer, but now a new report has measured their exact value in cold, hard cash.
According to professional services firm PwC, surf lifesavers in NSW are worth A$1.6 billion ($2 billion) a year to the economy - just under half the total A$3.6 billion annual value of the national surf lifesaving movement.
In hours alone, volunteer surf lifesavers donated time worth A$21 million during 2009/2010.
You can then add on the economic value of saving lives and preventing injury.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The PwC report says an extra 600 lives would have been lost on nationwide beaches and coastal waterways if it were not for surf lifesavers.
"The headline findings of this report are a tribute to the skill and dedication of our 73,000 members and the safety culture embedded in 129 surf lifesaving clubs across NSW," Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Phil Vanny said. NSW surf lifesavers undertook almost 5700 of the 11,900 rescues carried out around the country during 2009/2010.
They conducted 630,000 hours of patrols during the same period.