Flags Set on 2014/15 Patrol Season
Volunteer surf lifesavers will lower the flags on NSW beaches this Sunday 26 April after an action-packed and busy season, which began back in September.
The 21,000 active patrolling members have collectively given over 500,000 hours of their time to ensure that beachgoers around NSW were protected throughout the season.
Favourable weather over the summer holidays and a warm start to autumn meant that an estimated seven million people visited a beach this season, and they certainly kept the lifesavers busy!
Preliminary data*shows that 5,627 rescues have been carried out and 8,850 first aid treatments ranging from cuts, to broken bones, and spinal injuries have been administered.
A key focus this season has been lifesavers intervening in situations before they became potentially dangerous, and as a result over 130,000 preventative actions were undertaken.
These actions include things such as asking swimmers to swim between the flags, and communicating to the public, hazards such as sandbars, submerged rocks and powerful currents.
Sadly there have been 29 coastal drownings since the start of July which is below the ten-year-average for the second year in a row.
NSW Lifesaving Manager Andy Kent praised all the volunteers for their commitment to surf safety, while also reminding people to stay safe along the coast during the cooler months. “The dedication and commitment shown by all our volunteer lifesavers has been fantastic, and we thank them very much for their efforts. They have certainly had a busy season and have risen to the challenges along the way,” Mr Kent said.
“Although the official season ends this weekend and our members will be taking a well-deserved break over winter, surf life saving assets will be on stand-by to respond to any coastal incident through our Surf Rescue Emergency Response System. Keeping people safe is a 365-day-a-year job, and one all of our lifesavers take seriously.”
Some beaches across the state will be patrolled by council lifeguards throughout winter. For patrol times and further information, please see the Beachsafe Website.
Mr Kent also highlighted the many opportunities for surf life saving members to hone their skills over the break.
“Many of our members will also use the winter to keep their skills sharp by competing in the Inflatable Rescue Boat Series and to further their education by taking part in a range of refresher or advanced rescue or first aid training courses.
“It’s an opportunity for them to keep in touch with their club mates, and upgrade their qualifications so they’re ready and able to volunteer again next season,” he concluded. The 2015/16 Patrol Season will commence on Saturday 19 September 2015.
KEY 2014/15 SEASON STATS:
• 21,250 Patrolling Members
• 8,850 First Aids Performed
• 5,627 Rescues
• 132,191 Preventative Actions
*Information correct as of 24 April 2015. Complete statistics from the 2014/15 season will be available from the end of June.
Fri 24 Apr 2015