Busy Season Across NSW For ALS Lifeguards

The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) has concluded its patrols in NSW for the 2013/2014 lifeguarding season which saw more than 4.2 million people visit the Service’s 18 patrolled regions.

The ALS employ more than 350 lifeguards during peak season running lifeguard services in 14 councils, two resorts and two National Parks across New South Wales.

While beach attendance was slightly down across the state by just over 1% compared to the previous season, a number of regions recorded increases in beach goers.

This was led by the Royal National Park which recorded a 2.5x increase on beach goers compared to last season. Richmond Valley Council which recorded a 61% increase in attendance was also significant. Ballina Shire Council recorded a 56% increase while Pittwater Council was 15% higher compared to last season. Tweed Shire Council also increased by 9%.

Rescues across the state have also risen by 6.9% with Bega Valley Shire Council recording the highest number with 219.

While rescues have increased this season, first aid has dropped significantly with Lifeguards treating 4366 first aid cases across the state compared with 7383 from last season.

Lifeguards also performed 223,806 preventative actions. Preventative actions include instructing swimmers to move out of dangerous areas or ensuring they swim between the flags.

The ALS is the largest provider of professional lifeguard services in the country. Australian Lifeguard Service NSW Coordinator Brent Manieri said local councils and National Parks have been extremely supportive of the lifeguard service this season and praised lifeguards efforts.

“Once again the Australian Lifeguard Service has completed an extremely successful season where a wide variety of conditions were experienced by our Lifeguards. The professionalism that our Lifeguards continue to exhibit and the enthusiasm they show for the job means the public were vigilantly watched and provided with the highest service.

“It should be noted that Lifeguards volunteered their time on certain occasions to watch over large crowds of people, even when their shift had finished ensuring there were no incidents and the public were kept safe. It is this sort of dedication that makes working with our Lifeguards such a joy.

“These councils as well as National Parks have once again been very supportive this season and we look forward to further improving beach safety and working collaboratively with them leading into next season,” said Mr Manieri.

Many NSW councils have realised the benefit of ensuring a total service provision, as the Australian Lifeguard Service integrates 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.

Australian Lifeguard Service 2013/2014 Statistics:

  • Rescues - 892
  • Preventative actions – 223,806
  • First Aid – 4366
  • Attendance – 4,270,165

Tue 17 Jun 2014