Mackay Surf Life Saving Club has a continuous history dating back to November 1949 starting at Cremorne and then a break away group formed a club at Bucasia, but it only had a very short life span and the dedicated members eventually joined the new titled Mackay Surf Life Saving Club at the Harbour Beach as it became the most popular venue in the bathing region. Both clubs have for many years now operate under the Surf Life Saving Queensland umbrella, but as far back as 1928, situated at Illawong, (Far beach) Cremorne and Seaforth beaches. These bodies operated, being a combination of both surf and Royal life saving movements. The current club commenced patrolling Eimeo Beach in January 1950 as the Mackay &District Surf Life Saving Club.
The first clubhouse was opened in February 1962, and improvements were carried out in 1967/8 and again 1974/5. A major expansion of the building was completed in April 1984. In December 1958, it was decided to transfer patrolling activities to the Mackay harbour beach (where the marina is now situated) with the junior movement a very healthy and independent body of the senior movement. A junior (nipper) club was formed in 1968 and rapidly expanded in the early to mid 1970’s. A need for a separate clubhouse and facilities became obvious and a very energetic committee opened a new clubhouse next to the existing clubhouse in October 1980. Extensions quickly became necessary and these were carried out in October 1983.
The recent Marina development necessitated a move south along the harbour beach to the current position. This impressive structure was opened in 2000, incorporating a clubhouse with restaurant/function facilities and is a testimony to the community and governments support the Club enjoys.
The Clubs main activity is providing patrolling members to ensure safe bathing for the public of Mackay and the surrounding areas. This is done voluntarily on weekends and public holidays, between the months of September to the end of April. The other times (all year round), The harbour beach is under the supervision of a professional Lifeguard, generously provided by the Mackay City Council.
The main requirement of the patrolling members and the lifeguard service is prevention of potential life threatening situations. Verbal advice, surf safety signs and stinger net dragging of the bathing reserve achieve this. These members patrol in four-hour shifts were they are required to take part in rescues, minor first Aid and education with the public on how to maintain a safe environment for swimming in.
The Mackay Club belongs to the North Barrier Branch which starts in the north with Forest Beach at Ingham and comes down to the most southern club of Sarina Beach, the club was Classified the most outstanding club in the branch between 1988 to 1994. In 1980/90, the club was awarded the best Branch patrolled beach in a patrol inspection competition and in 1988/89/89/90 seasons they won the award for the best first aid room in the branch. They also educate the public in resuscitation (CPR) outside their duty of patrolling hours.