Looming Heatwave Prompts Beach Safety Plea

As the mercury across much of NSW looks set to rise above 30 degrees for most of the rest of 2016, surf lifesavers have issued a warning to those looking to cool off at the beach over the next few days – know how to beat the heat.

The forecast of scorching temperatures means that heat stress is a very real risk for the thousands of people expected to descend on the coast.

Some of the symptoms associated with this common condition includes dizziness, fatigue and headaches as well as confusion, cramps, nausea, and vomiting in more advanced cases.

If left untreated it can lead to the more serious condition of heat stroke so it is important to take immediate steps if you start to experience distress from the heat and to closely watch family members and friends.

While heat distress is usually associated with the very young and elderly it can impact anyone who is participating in intense exercise regardless of age, gender or fitness levels.

NSW Surf Life Saving Operations Manager Andy Kent said lifesavers and lifeguards are prepared for a busy few days.

“Our lifesavers and lifeguards are well trained in giving first aid treatments and are used to dealing with situations where someone has got into difficulty because of the heat.

“The first initial steps people should take are to seek the shade, stay well hydrated, and to try and control their breathing. If this isn’t successful or the person’s condition deteriorates we strongly urge you to alert a lfesaver or lifeguard.”

It has been a difficult few days for the lifesaving community with a number of coastal deaths over the festive season.

“What the last few days have highlighted is just how important it is to be aware of your surroundings and to respect the ocean environment,” Mr Kent said.

“This is why we strongly encourage the public to make that effort and swim at a patrolled location and between the red and yellow flags. It is an important safety message and one that we will continue to put out in the community.

“As lifesavers we want everyone to be able to enjoy their time on the beach safely and ensuring that happens is something we will continue to work towards.”

Volunteer surf lifesavers will be out in force across NSW each weekend and public holiday until the final day of the patrolling season onTuesday 25 April 2017

Beat The Heat

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
• Avoid the diuretic effects of alcohol
• Bring a long sleeve shirt to cover up after spending time in the sun
• Stay out of direct sunlight where possible during the hottest parts of the day
• Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply regularly
• Know the warning signs of heat stress (excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, nausea etc)
• Seek medical attention from lifesavers or lifeguards if feeling unwell
• Remember 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

Wed 28 Dec 2016