Stay Safe On The Beach This Weekend

Although it may feel like summer in many parts of the state Surf Life Saving NSW is warning beachgoers to be cautious as the official lifesaving season is still two weeks away.

While the surf is expected to be small across the state there are still many hazards including rip currents that can pose a danger to swimmers who aren’t familiar with the signs.

Common signs of a rip are deeper, darker water and few breaking waves in the affected area and it is important to not swim in or near these areas.

SLSNSW Lifesaving Officer, Murray Copas, says that while the lifesaving season has yet to officially commence, volunteers have still been busy dealing with an increased number of emergency call-outs during the off season.

“Call-outs through our emergency response system are up 23% when compared to the corresponding May-September period from last year. Our volunteers are working year-round responding to a wide number of incidents,” said Mr Copas.

A number of people were rescued by volunteer lifesavers throughout August including a kayaker in Avoca who was washed out to sea after being hit by a wave and losing his kayak.

Some of the larger metro beaches in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour and Salt are currently patrolled by paid Lifeguards.

Check for details of which beaches are patrolled in those areas.

SLSNSW Surf Safety Messages

  • Always swim at a patrolled beach, between the red and yellow flags
  • If you require assistance, stay calm, float and raise your arm to attract attention
  • Observe safety signs
  • Boaties should check their local forecast, seek advice from NSW Maritime and always wear a lifejacket
  • Visit Beachsafe for information on patrolled beaches/times
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero (000) – Police
  • Never enter the water if you have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of drugs
  • Slip, slop, slap
  • Seek shade and keep hydrated

Fri 6 Sep 2013