Keep Safe Over The Winter Break

Volunteer lifesavers from around NSW will be taking a well-earned break following the last day of the patrol season on Monday April 25. While they enjoy the winter off, the business of keeping people safe on our coastline never ends.

It’s been a busy summer for our volunteer patrols across the state. In the three months from 1 December until the last day of summer on 29 February, they amassed 3,477 rescues (down from 3,907 in the same period of the 2014/15 season), performed 12,956 first aid treatments; a whopping increase on the 5,180 last year, and our emergency call out system responded to 254 incidents.

Sadly there were 21 drownings over the summer - up from 11 in the corresponding period.

Throughout the winter it is still important to provide your guests with surf safety information. We will continue to alert you to dangerous surf conditions when these events occur.

These email weather warnings are a result of information from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and are distributed in the form of a media release and news story about 24 hours before surf conditions are forecast to become hazardous.

The information also contains a handy list of tips and advice about how people can stay safe during hazardous surf conditions.

Common Terms in Dangerous Surf Warnings:

Swell Period –

The time it takes for a cycle (or set) of waves to break. It’s usually measured in seconds – for example a 14 second swell period can be observed by using a rock platform as a point of reference. The greater the swell period the further the water has travelled and is therefore a much more powerful event.

Onshore –

Generally used to refer to the conditions (either swell or wind) in close proximity to the coast. For example a swell is expected to peak at 2.5 metres onshore.

Offshore –

A term used to describe conditions at sea. More common for marine traffic, it’s not unusual for the swell and wind speeds to be far more powerful offshore.

A good point of call for both you and your guests to is the Beachsafe Website. This informative and educational website can also be downloaded free as an app.

Visitors to this website have a vast array of information at their fingertips. Any beach in Australia can be searched with links provided to current weather conditions, whether it is patrolled or not, and information about the conditions and particular challenges of each beach.

While most volunteer lifesavers will be busy refreshing their skills and qualifications during the off-season, there are emergency call out teams on standby to respond to coastal incidents and emergencies if required.

If you see someone in trouble, please call Triple Zero police.

Volunteers will resume patrols at beaches across the state in time for the September school holidays. In some areas council lifeguards will continue to patrol throughout winter.

Seven Surf 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
  • 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
  • Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated

Photograph - Statistics have shown that in 2016 one person has drowned on average every three days. Please help us help you by swimming between the red and yellow flags.

Fri 1 Apr 2016