Lifesavers Urge Easter Safety

With most of the state expected to earn a brief respite from the rain and wind over the Easter weekend, volunteer surf lifesavers are gearing up for a busy period on the beach.

The dedicated patrolling lifesavers have issued a plea to everyone looking to make the most of a break in the weather – swim at a patrolled location, be aware of the conditions, and look out for your family and friends.

It’s a safety message that takes on an increased importance at this time of year, and sadly at least 10 people have drowned since January largely as a result of getting into difficulty while swimming.

There has also been a number of rock fishing fatalities in recent months as well as several close calls. This is particularly distressing to the lifesaving community as these deaths potentially could have been prevented had the fisher taken a simple precaution of wearing a lifejacket.

It’s been a busy season for our volunteer surf lifesavers with over 3,500 rescues performed, and 14,000 first aid treatments administered since the patrol season began last September.

NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent said lifesavers are preparing for a busy Easter as the season begins to wind down, but has urged the public not to become complacent about their safety while at the beach.

“Please take the time to assess the conditions before heading out, and if you think it’s beyond your capabilities don’t go in the water. This is particularly important if you are going to a beach that you only visit during the holidays or if you have children in tow. Talk to lifeguards or lifesavers as they are familiar with the conditions,” Mr Kent said.

“As always we urge everyone to swim at patrolled locations and to look out for each other on the beach. If you’re going rock fishing, boating or heading offshore in a kayak or other small watercraft, please wear a lifejacket.”

Mr Kent also thanked the state’s army of red and yellow volunteers who will be patrolling the beaches during the break.

“I would like to thank all our selfless volunteers sacrificing their time to ensure the safety of others and also to the families who support them,” he said.

Volunteer lifesavers will be out in force each weekend and Public Holiday until the 2016/17 season concludes on Tuesday 25 April. Additionally a number of beaches across NSW will be patrolled on weekdays throughout the School Holidays.

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 your arm • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police
• For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App

Thu 13 Apr 2017