Ballina Lifeguards Set To Patrol For Another Four Years

The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) has successfully renewed its lifeguarding contract with Ballina Shire Council for another four years.

The ALS currently employs up to 24 lifeguards across the region at peak periods over the spring, summer and autumn school holidays and has provided professional lifeguard services to Ballina Shire Council for 27 years.

Council has continued to choose the number one contracted lifeguard service in Australia, ensuring best practice and the seamless integration of professional lifeguards with volunteer lifesaving services.

ALS (NSW) Coordinator Brent Manieri is delighted to be continuing the positive relationship with council into the future.

“The Australian Lifeguard Service is pleased to have secured the lifeguard contract for the Ballina Shire for another four years. The council is very proactive in the area of improving safety for all beachgoers and we look forward to continuing the positive relationship we've built with council.

"Last year more than 161,942 people visited patrolled beaches in the Ballina region over the three school holiday periods and we are expecting another big year this year," said Mr Manieri.

The expertise of the ALS was on clear display during last season and despite such a high beach attendance across the area, lifeguards performed just fifteen major rescues, highlighting the proactive nature of lifeguards with a focus on preventative actions.

Ballina Council Mayor David Wright said "Council places the highest priority on beach safety and has invested $250,000 in the lifeguarding contract for the first year with an annual 3% increase over four years. Our beaches are a major attraction for visitors and locals and we want to ensure that everyone is in the safest hands while enjoying the swimming season.”

As the leading lifeguard service in Australia, the ALS ensures a total service provision, integrating the Australian Lifeguard Service with Surf Life Saving’s volunteer patrol structure, state-wide support operations network, 24-hour emergency callout system and strategically located Westpac Rescue Helicopter services.

With the school holiday period commencing on Saturday 20 September until Monday 6 October 2014, lifeguards will patrol at Lennox Head, Sharpes Beach, Shelly Beach and Lighthouse Beach from 9am-5pm. Sharpes and Shelly Beach will be patrolled seven days a week with a service at Lighthouse Beach running Monday - Friday. Lennox Head will be patrolled Monday – Friday from this weekend until the end of the autumn school holiday period in 2015.

Lifeguards are urging people to stay safe these school holidays by being aware of key surf safety messages:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Read the safety signs
  • Ask a lifeguard or lifesaver for safety advice
  • Swim with a friend
  • If you need help, stay calm and attract attention by raising your arm above your head
  • Never enter the water if you have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of drugs
  • Wear sunscreen, seek shade and stay hydrated
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero (000) – Police
  • For information on Beach conditions or to find a patrolled beach near you, check out Beachsafe or download the mobile app.

Thu 18 Sep 2014