IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) competition aims to improve the skills and technique of IRB drivers and crew as well as allow crews to demonstrate their ability and techniques while performing rescues.

There are five events in IRB competition:

IRB Res­cue

Teams have one patient, one driver and one crew member. The patient is positioned on the seaward side of their buoy. The driver and crew member are on the beach side of the crew start/finish line, adjacent to their beach positions. On the starter’s signal the crew launches the IRB, continues through the surf to pick up the patient, rounds the buoy and returns to shore.

IRB Rescue – Tube Rescue

Teams have one patient, one driver, and one crew member. Patients are positioned at their patient buoys which are set approximately 25 metres on the seaward side of the turning buoys. Crew members are positioned on the beach side of the crew start/finish line adjacent to their respective beach positions. On the starter’s signal crew launch their IRBs, continue through the surf and turn at their turning buoy. After the IRB rounds the turning buoy the crew member enters the water with the rescue tube and swims past the turning buoy to their patient. The crew member secures the rescue tube around the patient and tows the patient back to the IRB. Once the crew member contacts the IRB or driver they can board. The driver can assist the crew member and/or patient into the IRB. Patients may also assist themselves in boarding the IRB. After the patient is in the IRB the driver navigates around the team’s turning buoy and returns to shore to finish.

Mass Rescue

Teams have one driver, one crew and two patients. Both patients are taken out to their buoy where one will wait on either side (sea side or shore side) of the buoy to be rescued. The crew proceeds out to sea, picks up their first patient and returns to shore. The driver and the patient must exit the IRB where the patient stays on the beach. The driver proceeds to the start/finish line, rounds their beach marker and returns to the IRB. The IRB is re-launched and the crew proceeds to rescue the second patient, returns to shore and on to the beach to the finish.

IRB Team Rescue

Teams have one patient and two crews (one driver and one crew member). The patient is positioned on the seaward side of a designated buoy. Both crews are positioned on the beach side of the crew start/finish line adjacent to their beach position.
On the starter’s signal the first crew launches the IRB through the surf to the patient. On the inside of the turn (as the IRB rounds the buoy) the crew member jumps overboard on the seaward side of the buoy. The driver completes the buoy turn and returns to shore alone. Meanwhile the crew member of the second crew moves into the water. The first driver stays in contact and in control of the IRB until the second crew member secures and takes control of the IRB. The first driver runs up the beach and crosses the start/finish line to tag the second driver who runs to the IRB. The second crew launches the IRB through the surf to pick up the patient and the first crew member then rounds their buoy and returns to shore to the finish.

IRB Relay

This event is a continuous relay involving the four events above in the following order: Rescue Tube, Mass Rescue, Teams Rescue and Rescue. Each leg is as per the individual event descriptions except for change over between legs. The finish is at the completion of the Rescue (fourth) leg of the race.