Downs Little Lifeguards is a fun and educational drowning prevention program for children aged 8-17 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.

Program schedule

The program runs during school terms 1 and 4 and offers school-based sessions, community days, and day trips for children and families to the beach and river.

Upcoming programs can be found below under the heading 'Upcoming programs'.

Program skills

Children and families will have the option to participate in ocean, river and pool awareness activities and practice skills to potentially save a life. This is not a learn to swim program.

The program is based around:

  • Various aquatic environment awareness 
  • Survival swimming and water safety
  • Rescue and recovery techniques
  • Resuscitation
  • Recreational safe play 

Students will:

  • Use flotation items such as surfboards, eskys, buckets, ropes and PFDs
  • Use various recreational play equipment, water trampolines, kayaks and body boards
  • Learn CPR on pool deck or by the ocean or river
  • Practice survival swimming in currents and still water
  • Learn rescue techniques using own self or apparatus 
  • Try various safety entries and exits


Upcoming programs

Water Warriors Weekend - date to be announced 2021 

  • Saturday: Miami Beach 9am - 3pm 
  • Sunday: Tallebudgera Creek 9am to 12pm

Come join the Downs Little Lifeguard Warriors and:

  • Catch the waves on the surfboards
  • Be challenged by the swimming conditions and learn survival skills
  • Experience life saving techniques with professionals
  • Learn about currents and tidal changes
  • Make new mates
  • Learn about CPR and practice rescues

Cost $20 per child

This 2 day program is a fun and educational weekend aimed at decreasing the drownings we have in our region. The program has been running since 2014 by volunteers and we have had the best time teaching over 400 children survival skills in rivers, dams, creeks and pool environments. Take a look at our past programs below in the blue slider.

Beach day at Miami Beach

  • 9am arrival and welcome
  • Morning activities (and light refreshments supplied)
  • 12pm BBQ lunch
  •  Afternoon activities (and light refreshments supplied)
  • 3pm conclude

River day at Tallebudgera

  • 9am arrival and welcome
  • Morning activities (and light refreshments supplied)
  • 12 noon conclude and hand out of certificate

Locations of program:

  • Miami Beach Surf Life Saving Club - 2 Hythe St, Miami QLD 4220
  • Tallebudgera Creek - Neptune Surf Life Saving Club - 1527 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach QLD 4221


  • Children must be 8yrs to 17yrs of age.
  • Children and adults must be capable of swimming 50m continuously (adults- if participating in water activities).
  • The program cost of $20 per program 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 may be split into two age groups. 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 fill in the online form: Pools - Downs Little Lifeguards application form (online). 



dll web rsz img 1538In February 2020 the Weekend Warriors program was born and children and parents set off for a whole weekend of fun and education water safety experiences. We headed off to Miami beach and Tallebudgerra  Creek. This was the first year we ran the program over two consecutive days and it was a huge success! Children and parents felt the force of dumping waves and strong tidal changes. Whatever the conditions the beach threw at the participants they fought through and swam, rode boards and completed rescues aided and unaided. 

The Creek conditions were a little kinder to us as we experienced calm water, swam with the current wearing PFD's, learnt to paddle and board, made rescues using ropes and rescue tubes.



downslittlelifeguardsgroupwearingpfdThe Creek conditions were a little kinder to us as we experienced calm water, swam with the current wearing PFD's, learnt to paddle and board, made rescues using ropes and rescue tubes.





beach dll 2019In March 2019 children and parents gathered at Miami Beach for a fun filled day of beach and ocean activities. We learnt vital skills to enjoy the waves such as duck diving, body surfing and how to identify, avoid and escape rip currents. We also had the privilege of using the nipper boards to experience paddling, riding the waves and practice rescues. This was a highlight for many of the participants.




dam 2019In February 2019 children plus parents experienced a fabulous day at Leslie Dam. Throughout the day we practiced survival and safety skills for enjoying the water. One of the key skills learnt on the day was how to complete rescues to help someone else and keep yourself safe at the same time. This was done through scenario based activities.




dam busters day 2018 trampolineIn March 2018 the Dam Busters day was held at Leslie Dam YMCA camp. Families experienced fun and safe recreational play using water trampolines and kayaking. Children were required to work as a team to assist peers climb onto the trampolines and kayaks in deep water, then practice rescue techniques using contact and non-contact tows, unconscious rescues (role played) and CPR on the dam bank.




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In February 2018 families joined us at Miami Beach Surf Life Saving Club and enjoyed a hot day at the beach. The morning involved children battling it out in beach sprints, learning to body board, ride in waves and climb to the lookout to identify rips and current changes.

The afternoon saw children and adults join teams and participate in relays using boogie boards and fighting the currents. A brilliant day was had by all!  


downs little lifeguards dam day

In February 2017 families travelled 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 practised 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.




In 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.






In 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.