Successful Summer For Bega Lifeguards

It has been another successful summer on patrol for Bega Valley Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) who kept a watchful eye over eight beaches throughout the shire, ensuring that visitors to the Sapphire Coast could safely enjoy their time on the beach.

A hot summer and warmer conditions leading into autumn led to increased attendance this season with over 160,000 people visiting the beach compared to 158,000 in 2014/15 with the bulk of these visitors coming later in the season after a wet start to the New Year.

Tathra, Main Beach Merimbula, and Pambula led the way in visitations throughout the ALS contract period, all contributing to the rise in visitors to an area that remains popular for tourists.

Lifeguards carried out 208 significant rescues this season with the vast majority of these occurring at Bar Beach (95 rescues) ahead of Tathra (30) and Short Point (26).

There was a slight decrease in first aid treatments required 279 down from 374 at the corresponding time last year.

Lifeguards were however tasked to deal with a variety of situations that required medical intervention such as abrasions, suspected spinal injuries, fractures, and providing oxygen therapy when required.

A key priority for Lifeguards was a renewed emphasis on preventative actions which was again reinforced at pre-season training. The purpose of this training was to ensure that Lifeguards were aware of the need to constantly monitor their surroundings so that that they could intervene in situations before they escalated to the point that a rescue was required.

Some common incidents that necessitated preventative actions included reminding swimmers to swimmers to swim in the flagged area, being aware of tidal changes and the presence of rip currents.

“The rise in rescues can be attributed to an increase in overall beach attendance throughout the Bega Shire, but I am delighted with how our Lifeguards were able to handle their workload and the challenges that this season brought,” ALS NSW Manger Brent Manieri said.

Mr Manieri said one of the positive aspects of the summer was the ongoing relationship with Bega Valley Shire Council, which continues to grow stronger each year.

“Council are well aware of the Bega Valley’s appeal to both locals and tourists and take beach safety extremely seriously.

“We look forward to working with them into the future and ensuring that we continue to deliver the professional services and level of commitment that people have come to expect from the ALS,” he concluded.

Beachgoers throughout the winter months are advised to visit for a list of patrolled locations, access to weather updates, and handy tips to help you plan your visit to the coast. It is also available to download as an app.

Bega Valley Shire Council 2015/2016 Statistics:

• Rescues – 208
• Preventative Actions – 19,243
• First Aid – 279
• Attendance – 164,645

Wed 8 Jun 2016