Surf Safety Focus This School 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 Friday 12 April.

SLSNSW Manager of Lifesaving, Dean Storey, 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 Dean Storey.

Volunteer surf lifesavers will patrol on weekends and public holidays until the end of the season on Sunday 28 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, Great Lakes, Port Stephens, Pittwater and Munmorah Recreation Area.

Northern Lifeguard Coordinator, Scott McCartney encourages people to make the most of their time on the beach this school holidays, but urges them to put safety first while they enjoy the surf.

“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 lifeguards or lifesavers on duty before entering the water and always try to swim with a friend where possible,” said Scott McCartney.

At the beach, follow these simple safety messages.

  • 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 boating or rock-fishing
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency call 000-Police

Remember, if we can’t see you, we can’t save you.

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.

Wed 10 Apr 2013