Why lifesaver Gemma needs your support
GEMMA Henricksen is a true blue Aussie beach babe.
The 23-year-old has been involved with lifesaving since she was six years old.
This week she is taking on one of her biggest challenges to date - raising big bucks to keep Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club members in action.
Ms Henricksen is co-ordinating the Bundaberg leg of the Surf Safe Appeal and she is doing it while holding down three jobs.
Her mum Louise, dad Glen and siblings Daniel, Kelsey and Braden have all been involved in the activity over the years.
As well as bringing the family closer together, the pastime has had Ms Henricksen travel and helped her forge strong friendships across the community.
"I've made a lot of good friends through lifesaving because I was at the beach every weekend," she said.
"I used to compete and that was always good fun."
Saving lives is a vital part of the club's work.
Last year, BSLSC members rescued 27 swimmers, undertook 6417 preventative actions to keep beach users safe and performed first aid 190 times.
Keeping beach-goers out of deep water costs money, which is why Ms Henricksen and many of the club's 120 members will be seeking donations during the Queensland-wide Surf Safe Appeal from Monday, October 24 to Sunday, October 30.
"All of our beaches are free to use but unfortunately patrolling them costs money," she said.
"We need money for rescue equipment, training and everything else.
"If everyone would like to keep enjoying the beaches safely it would be good to give whatever you can.
"Every little bit helps."
You can donate to the Surf Safe Appeal when lifesavers wearing club uniforms are at the Shalom Market or the city's Good Guys store.
Members will also be door-knocking throughout the region.
- ARM NEWSDESK