Be "Beach-aware" over the Festive Break

With thousands expected to continue their festive celebrations on the state’s beaches over the holiday break, Surf Life Saving NSW is urging all beachgoers to be safe this summer.

A day unwinding at the beach is a perfect way to pass a summer day, but too often people are getting into difficulties because they don’t take simple safety precautions.

The 2014 National Coastal Safety Report just released, found that while overall drownings in NSW have decreased, for the first time rock fishing accounts for the highest proportion of deaths at 26.7% of the 30 total drownings

Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager Adam Weir has warned against beachgoers becoming complacent over the holidays.

“We want everybody to enjoy their time on our beaches in a fun and safe manner. It’s really positive that there has been a decrease in coastal drownings, however one drowning is one too many.

“Please always swim between the flags at a beach where lifesavers and lifeguards are on patrol, and if you are going out in a boat or doing some rock fishing always wear a lifejacket,” he said.

Mr Weir also paid tribute to those who will the don the iconic red and yellow patrol uniforms over the summer break, many who will be giving up family time to do so.

“I would like to thank our volunteer lifesavers who will be patrolling throughout the holidays. It is a very busy time of the year on our beaches, so spare a thought for their commitment and sacrifice.

“Our lifesavers are well trained to deal with any emergency situation and along with our professional lifeguards, play a vital role in keeping our beaches safe.”

The Surf Rescue Emergency Response System is manned 24/7 and volunteer callout teams are on stand-by to respond to coastal incidents and emergencies.

Surf Life Saving NSW would like to wish everybody a safe and enjoyable festive season.

Keeping Safe at the Beach:

At the beach, follow these simple safety tips:
• Always swim between the red and yellow flags
• Read the safety signs
• Ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for safety advice
• Learn how to identify a rip
• If you need help, stay calm and attract attention
• Always wear a lifejacket while rock-fishing
• If witnessing an in-water emergency call Triple Zero-Police
For full details on which beaches are patrolled and patrol times visit the Beachsafe Website or download the app.

Tue 23 Dec 2014