Stay Safe In The Surf These Holidays

NSW surf lifesavers and lifeguards have issued a strong warning to beachgoers and coastal holiday makers to observe surf safety warnings during the Autumn school holiday period which commences this Saturday 12th April.

SLSNSW Manager of Lifesaving, Andy Kent, has emphasised the importance of swimming at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags.

“Don’t put yourself or your family at risk these holidays. Take advantage of the many beaches which are patrolled by lifesaving services,” said Mr Kent.

Volunteer surf lifesavers will patrol on weekends and public holidays until the end of the season on Sunday 27 April.

Weekday lifeguard services will also be delivered in many council areas, including by the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) in the Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley, Bellingen, Kempsey, Port Stephens and Pittwater Councils.

On top of the expected increase in crowds for the holidays this weekend, Surf Life Saving NSW is warning swimmers about dangerous surf conditions between the Victoria Border and Sydney this weekend.

The swell is expected to reach 4 to 5 metres at its peak, with a swell period around 11 seconds with winds of up to 40 knots predicted for Saturday afternoon.

These conditions will be hazardous for coastal activities such as swimming, surfing and rock fishing.

“With the onset of these dangerous condition we strongly encourage swimmers to follow all safety warnings and avoid entering the water unless there is an active patrol on duty, which will be signified by the red and yellow flags.

“If you are ever unsure about the conditions, have a chat to one of the lifesavers or lifeguards on duty before entering the water,” said Andy Kent.

At the beach, follow these simple safety tips:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Read the safety signs
  • Ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for safety advice
  • Learn how to identify a rip
  • If you need help, stay calm and attract attention
  • Always wear a lifejacket while rock-fishing
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency call 000-Police

For full details on which beaches are patrolled and patrol times (including over the winter months) go to Beachsafe, which is also available as an iPhone app.

Fri 11 Apr 2014