Lifesavers Ready For New Year’s Festivities

Beaches across the state will be flying the red and yellow flags tomorrow as volunteer lifesavers prepare to greet 2016.

Traditionally one of the busiest days of the season as revelers flock to the ocean for a refreshing dip, lifesavers are again anticipating a busy day despite early predictions of cooler temperatures.

Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager Adam Weir is urging everyone who is heading to the beach to enjoy the New Year celebrations in a safe manner.

“There are a number of simple tips that can help ensure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable day on the beach. If you’re going swimming it’s extremely important not to do so while under the influence of alcohol or drugs as it can slow your reaction time.

“We encourage everyone to keep an eye on the weather conditions and talk to the lifesavers if you have any questions about the beach especially if it one you only visit while on holidays,” Mr Weir said.

“Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of the beach going public, and while our well-trained volunteers will be on hand to assist in any emergency situation we urge everyone to keep themselves safe by swimming between the red and yellow flags.”

It has been a busy festive period for the state’s 21,000 patrolling lifesavers. During what was an exceptionally hot Christmas and Boxing Day they performed over 100 rescues, and while final numbers are yet to be confirmed preliminary data reveal that beach attendances have risen from the corresponding period last year.

Beaches throughout Sydney have been reporting huge crowds while lifesavers patrolling popular tourist areas in the northern and southern parts of the state have also been kept busy.

Last season there were 37 coastal drowning deaths in NSW waters and there has been a further 13 recorded since July. This is down significantly from the 19 recorded between July and December 2014.

Lifesavers have also been administering first aid treatment to the public for a variety of injuries including broken bones, lacerations from stray surfboards, and marine stings.

Volunteer lifesavers will be patrolling each weekend and public holiday until the 2015/16 season concludes on Monday 25 April 2016.

Tips For Keeping Safe At The Beach

  • 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.
  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

Thu 31 Dec 2015