Bilgola IRB

Inflatable Rescue Boats or IRB’s, were introduced into Surf Life Saving in the 1970’s as a means of responding to a rescue situation more efficiently.

Since then, the IRB, or as it’s affectionately know “The Duck” has had a dramatic entrance into Surf Life Saving and is now a required piece of rescue equipment at every club in Australia, performing thousands of rescues each year.

The IRB comes into its own in large surf, where time is of the essence and conventional methods of rescue are quite time consuming and risky. A skilled crew can negotiate the break swiftly and rescue several people at once, giving struggling swimmers a much greater chance of survival.

The IRB is also useful tool in search and rescue, vessel recovery and event supervision of swimmers thanks to its speed, visibility and on board equipment.


IRB Competition


IRB competition is contended during the off season, given the need for the IRB during summer patrols. IRB Racing is a rescue simulation of a real life scenario, testing the skill of the crew in negotiating the through the surf, manoeuvring the craft and adapting to various beach conditions.


As the IRB is the most commonly used piece of rescue equipment, the skills learnt during racing feeds directly back to the skills required during patrol.