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As the patrol season begins to wind down for the 2016/17 season, lifesavers can look back on what has been another busy summer for those tasked with protecting our beaches.

In the three months of summer (December – February) there were over 3.5 million visitors to the beach averaging out an impressive 1 million a month.

Attendance was boosted by the warm weather the state enjoyed throughout this peak period highlighting just how important a role the beach and the ocean environment play in community life.

Our volunteer surf lifesavers from 129 clubs were on their toes performing over 2,500 rescues, 72,000 preventative actions, and administering 12,300 first aid treatments during this period.

Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving John Restuccia paid tribute to the efforts of volunteer surf lifesavers throughout the summer.

“I would like to publicly acknowledge the efforts of all our patrolling volunteers who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the welfare of all visitors to our coastline,” Mr Restuccia said.

“It’s always a challenging time of year to patrol when people give up time with their families and friends to fulfil their commitments. The good weather over summer meant that it was an extremely busy period.”

These numbers don’t include the beach visitations and work done by the professional Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service who fulfilled a number of contracts across the state during the busy school holidays.

Sadly throughout summer there were 15 coastal drownings with around half of these occurring while swimming. These deaths combined with those in inland waterways and backyard pools has prompted the state’s peak water safety bodies to unite behind a pointed safety campaign in an effort to continue to educate the public about ocean dangers.

Surf Life Saving NSW is extremely grateful for the efforts of all our valued patrol members as they continue to embody our motto of saving lives, creating great Australians and building better communities.