Near Drowning Highlights Need for Lifeguard Service

A Sydney woman who was in a critical condition in hospital after being pulled from the surf by lifeguards and resuscitated on Sunday at Salt beach on the Far North Coast may make a full recovery thanks to the efforts of professional lifeguards on duty.

It appears the woman entered the water several hundred metres south of the patrol area and shortly after, lifeguards noticed her in trouble and launched rescue efforts. CPR was performed including the use of a defibrillator, before she was airlifted by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

The Australian Lifeguard Service says this incident highlights the need for an extended professional lifeguard service to be provided in the Tweed region. The neighbouring council areas of the Gold Coast and Byron Shire have put in place year-round lifeguard services at some locations.

“If this incident were to happen in a few weeks’ time, there would be no patrol on the beach and no lifeguards to assist anyone who gets into trouble at this popular location,” said ALS Coordinator Brent Manieri.

The 10-year lifeguard contract at Salt was put in place as part of the Development Application with Tweed Council when the large resort and residential development was constructed along the beachfront just south of Kingscliff. It is now a popular tourist hub and an established residential community where much of the activity centres around the beach.

“Our lifeguards have done a fantastic job keeping tourists and locals safe and we are working with Salt and the Tweed council to hopefully establish a long-term, extended lifeguard service in the area,” said Brent Manieri.

Paramedics praised the Salt lifeguards for their resuscitation efforts and the advanced skills used to prevent a tragedy on Sunday.

Mon 30 Mar 2015