Stay Safe These School Holidays

It’s been a warm start to 2016 and despite it being autumn, the beaches and cool clear water of our picturesque coastline are still as inviting as ever.

Lifesavers will be out patrolling beaches each weekend throughout the school holidays with the last day of the season being Monday 25 April on the Anzac Day Public Holiday.

Many holiday makers unfortunately get themselves into difficulty at the beach due to the unfamiliarity of the environment. Rip currents are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. While the flags indicate the safest places on the beach to swim, unfortunately not all beaches are patrolled all the time by lifesavers or lifeguards. When they're not, it's important to know how to identity a rip current and even more critically, to know what to do if you get caught in one.

Here are some handy tips to give to your guests;

How To Spot A Rip Current

  • Rip currents will occur in deeper water, so it’s usually a darker colour compared to the white breaking waves over a sandbank
  • Because the water is deeper, there will be fewer breaking waves or maybe an area with no waves at all, which can give the appearance of a safer spot to swim
  • Rip currents can move things like sand, seaweed, or debris back out through the waves

What To Do If Caught In A Rip Current

If you get caught in a rip current, you need to know your options

  • Relax – stay calm and float to conserve your energy
  • Raise – raise an arm and attract attention from the lifeguards or lifesavers
  • Rescue – the lifeguards or lifesavers will be on their way to help you
  • While floating, rip currents may flow in a circular pattern and return you to an adjacent sandbar
  • You may be able to escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves

Surf Life Saving NSW strongly encourages the public to swim at a patrolled location, and while there are emergency call out teams capable and able to respond to any coastal incident, it does take time for them to reach the scene. Help us help you by informing your guests about the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags. If you or your guests do see someone in trouble, alert the lifesavers/lifeguards or call Triple Zero police.

The following beaches will be patrolled by lifeguards throughout the winter months; *

  • Bar Beach (Newcastle)
  • Bondi
  • Byron Bay
  • Coogee
  • Cronulla
  • Manly
  • Maroubra
  • Nobbys
  • North Cronulla
  • Wollongong
  • Parks Beach (Coffs Harbour)

Volunteer lifesavers will resume patrols on weekends and public holidays for the 2016/17 season from September.

Fri 1 Apr 2016