Busy Australia Day For NSW Lifesavers

Our dedicated volunteers were kept busy on Tuesday performing a significant number of rescues as they kept a watchful eye on revellers on the state’s coastline.

NSW Lifesaving Manager Andy Kent praised the efforts of the volunteer patrols whose work ensured that there would be no drownings on the day.

“Patrolling on a Public Holiday is not an easy task and our volunteers did a fantastic job in ensuring that the general public were able to have fun while also staying safe.

“It’s been a tough few days for lifesavers with a number of coastal drownings in the last week, and I know that all of our members will continue to do everything within their power to keep the public safe,” Mr Kent said.

There were 286 rescues carried out by lifesavers with 14 incidents requiring an ambulance to attend, while the State Operation Centre tasked assets to attend a further five incidents.

One of the more serious accidents involved a surging wave at Avoca Beach resulting in a number of people being injured including a fractured ankle, lacerations, and a dislocated shoulder. Conditions continued to be deceptively powerful at many beaches along the coast, and unfortunately there were a number of suspected spinal injuries.

Anecdotally there has also been an increased sighting of bluebottles along the coast in recent times, and a number of stings have resulted in the patient going into anaphylactic shock.

Already this season lifesavers have administered first aid treatment to over 3000 people as a result of a marine stings, and patrol members are urged to be aware of them before commencing duty for the day.

Tip For Bluebottle Stings:

  • Wash off any remaining tentacles with seawater, or pick off with your fingers (they can’t usually sting through the tough skin on your fingers!)
  • Immerse the patient’s sting in hot water (no hotter than can be easily tolerated)
  • If local pain is not relieved or immersion facilities are not available, the application of cold packs or wrapped ice is also effective

General Beach Safety Tips:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website
  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
  • Always wear a lifejacket if you are boating or fishing from rocks
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police
  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

Wed 27 Jan 2016