Busy Season For Byron and Ballina Lifeguards

The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) has concluded its patrols for the 2013/2014 lifeguarding season which saw more than 844,000 people visit Byron Shire/Trust beaches and more than 161,000 visit Ballina Shire.

Byron Bay’s main beach continues to be one of the busiest beaches in NSW with 588,094 people visiting over the 7 month patrolled period. This is followed by First Sun beach with 83,577 people.

The region had 100 rescues led by Main Beach with 39 and Wategos with 38 while first aid treatments totalled 432 including 252 at Main Beach and 96 at First Sun.

In Ballina Shire Council beach attendances increased by 56% led by Lennox Head with 113,670. Lifeguards were extremely proactive across the region with rescues down by 48% to 15 while preventative actions were up by 48% to 13,644.

Preventative actions include instructing swimmers to move out of dangerous areas or ensuring they swim between the flags.

Richmond Valley Council’s Evans Head recorded a huge 61% increase in beach attendance compared to the previous season including 13 rescues, 3207 preventative actions and 24 first aid treatments.

The ALS is the largest provider of professional lifeguard services in the country. NSW ALS Lifeguard Services Coordinator Brent Manieri said Byron, Ballina and Richmond Councils as well as the Cape Byron Trust were 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 the Cape Byron Trust 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.

Byron Shire and Cape Byron Trust 2013/2014 Statistics:

  • Rescues - 100
  • Preventative actions – 32,908
  • First Aid – 432
  • Attendance – 844,181

Ballina Shire Council 2013/2014 Statistics:

  • Rescues – 15
  • Preventative Actions – 13,644
  • First Aid – 118
  • Attendance – 161,942

Richmond Valley Council 2013/2014 Statistics:

  • Rescues – 13
  • Preventative Actions – 3,207
  • First Aid – 24
  • Attendance – 38,314

Fri 6 Jun 2014