New Years Surf Warning

Surf lifesavers are asking people to use their common sense when taking to the beach and waterways over the New Year period.

New Year’s Day is one of the busiest beach days of the year and lifesavers and lifeguards will be on full alert to protect the hundreds of thousands of beachgoers expected.

Adam Weir, Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager, says that people need to act responsibly when celebrating while also looking out for their friends and family.

"Unfortunately drug use and excessive alcohol consumption at New Year's celebrations can often have hazardous consequences," said Adam Weir. "Combine these factors with swimming in the surf or boating, particularly after dark, and it adds up to an extremely dangerous situation which we're urging the public to avoid this New Year's Eve."

Surf lifesavers are also preparing for a busy New Year's Day on the beaches and are encouraging members of the public to exercise caution.

“Lifesavers and lifeguards often have to rescue people who think that a swim in the surf will clear the head after a big night. It’s a case of over-estimating your abilities when your judgements are sometimes impaired,” said Adam Weir.

So far this Christmas holiday period there has only been one coastal death of a man snorkelling near Newcastle on Boxing Day. Lifesavers are hoping it stays that way.

“We’re urging people to only swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags. Approach lifesavers or lifeguards if unsure about conditions and if in doubt, stay out," he said.

For in-water emergencies call Triple Zero Police. Go to beachsafe.org.au for patrolled locations and multi-lingual surf safety information.

Tue 30 Dec 2014