Festival Goers Urged To Be Beach-Aware

Port Macquarie’s largest annual music festival gets underway this week, and local lifeguards have issued a plea for revellers to enjoy the beach responsibly and to not swim under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

As the 3000 lucky ticket holders prepare to descend for three days of music, fun, and sun, lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) will be finalising preparations of their own ahead of what they anticipate to be a busy weekend.

From Friday through to Sunday Town Beach lifeguards will commence patrols from 7am instead of the usual patrol time of 9am. Lifeguards will be out in force to reiterate the importance of surf safety throughout the festival period.

Early forecasts suggest that temperatures will be in the mid-20s throughout the festival, and it is expected that the beach will prove enticing to those looking to cool off.

ALS Port Macquarie Supervisor James Turnham is encouraging visitors to make the most of what both the festival and the local town have to offer but has urged people visiting the beach to take care.

“Please take the time to familiarise yourself with local conditions, always swim between the flags during patrolled hours, ask lifeguards for advice and avoid the temptation of swimming after consuming alcohol or swimming at night,” Mr Turnham said.

“Alcohol has been proven to slow your reaction time and in an ocean environment this is not a good combination.

“Our lifeguards are extremely well-trained, however it important for everyone to know the dangers and to watch out for your friends while you’re enjoying the water.

“We want people to have a good time and to make sensible decisions around their own and others’ safety when in the water,” he concluded.

In addition volunteer surf lifesavers from the region’s local surf clubs will be out patrolling this weekend at nearby beaches.

Beach Safety Checklist

• Only swim at a patrolled beach, between the red and yellow flags
• Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol/drugs
• Never swim at night
• Ask a surf lifesaver or lifeguard for advice
• Look after your mates, and know where your group is while in the water
• Call triple-zero – Police to report an in-water emergency

Thu 8 Dec 2016