I’ve only been to Western Australia once. It was the summer of 1979 and I was 5 years old.  We travelled to Perth so I could meet my Grandpa for the first time. As fantastic as that was, the rest of the holiday did not go as smoothly.

Mum got seasick on the boat ride to Rottnest Island. The next day I got attacked by a black swan in a park. If this wasn’t traumatic enough, I then drank some powdered orange juice which gave me the hives and I spent Christmas 1979 in my undies covered in calamine lotion.

Needless to say, with my Grandpa relocating to the east coast a few years later, I didn’t have a lot of reasons  to revisit Western Australia.

So you may well ask, why I follow the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter account when the nearest beach they patrol is 4344 kilometres (2700 miles) away from where I live? Well sometimes you follow social media accounts on the other side of your country – or the world – just because they’re brilliant.

Here are 8 reasons why I love Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s Twitter.

1) @slswa sign on promoting a key message

Swim between the flags: the most important piece of advice you can follow when visiting any Australian beach. This key message is regularly promoted through @slswa’s tweets.

 

2) @slswa sign off every evening with some cool stats

Many people would not have any idea of the hard work Surf Lifesaving Associations in Australia do, @slswa summarise their operations neatly at the end of each day.

 

3) @slswa post brilliant photos

Let’s face it – it’s pretty hard to take a bad photo of the beautiful beaches of Western Australia. Here are a few crackers:

 

 

4) @slswa post operational details

One of the best things about social media is that we get to read about and see operational details of an organisation. I enjoy reading about @slswa operations, even though I don’t know where most of the places are.

 

 5) @slswa report shark sightings

And there you were thinking it was all sun, sand and surf. There’s one more ‘S’ you need to add to the mix – sharks. I won’t wade in to the debate around the controversial policies of the WA Government, but let’s just say that shark sightings make up a good portion of @slswa tweets.

But wait, there’s something even cooler…

6)   Sharks tweet automatically to the @slswa account

Seriously.

I know this must sound like some crazy Dr Evil scheme out of an Austin Powers movie, but it’s true.

The Western Australian Department of Fisheries that have set up an ingenious system. When a shark comes within 500 metres of an offshore sound receiver, it sends a message to a satellite which is then decoded and tweeted out by @slswa within 90 seconds.

Here’s a graphic to explain it all:

Source: Canberra Times

Here’s an example:

 

7) They tweet cute photos of sea life

There is an abundance of sea life in the waters off Western Australia. Here are a couple of cute sea life photos.

 

8) @slswa is a volunteer organisation

As are all Surf Life Saving organisations around Australia. What a fantastic job they do, hats off to you guys and girls.

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Picture credits: Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter account.

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