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This weekend thousands of music fans and holidaymakers are expected to descend on Byron Bay for the annual Splendour in The Grass music festival. Surf lifesavers have reiterated a simple message for those hitting the beach; swim between the red and yellow flags at a patrolled location.

As cold winter weather continues in southern NSW, conditions on the Far North Coast have been almost spring-like in the final week of the school holidays in the lead-up to Splendour in the Grass .

Temperatures in the low twenties are forecast across the weekend. Surf Life Saving NSW advises people not to take risks when visiting any of the Far North Coast beaches as conditions can change quickly are often deceptive to those unfamiliar with the area.

Main Beach, Byron Bay is the only patrolled beach in northern NSW over the winter period. Lifeguards operate between 9am-5pm.

The Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Support Operations Team is suitably prepared for the increase in beach-goers this weekend.

Lifeguards will have Westpac Lifesaver Rescue UAVs (drones) on standby monitoring conditions and responding to any emergencies. They will also be utilising Jetskis and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Jimmy Keough from Surf Life Saving NSW said that local lifesavers have a simple message for those hitting the beach this weekend.

“We want everyone to enjoy the beautiful beach weather and return home safely, so the best advice we can give is to swim at a patrolled beach, between the red and yellow flags.”

Mr Keough had a pointed warning for those people hitting the beach after a day at the Splendour in the Grass music festival, “Water, drugs and alcohol simply don’t mix. We are not out to ruin the party or anyone’s fun but it’s important for people to realise that dangerous situations both in the water and on the beach can escalate quickly. This not only endangers their own lives but puts the Lifeguards and our volunteer rescue teams who respond at risk as well.”

General Beach Safety Tips

  • Always swim at patrolled beaches

  • Swim between the red and yellow flags. They mark the safer area for swimming

  • Never swim, surf or fish alone

  • Read and obey the signs

  • Be aware of rip currents (know how to spot one and how to escape from one)

  • Don't swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Never run or dive in the water, even if you have checked before as water conditions can change

  • If in doubt stay out

  • Seek advice from Lifeguards.

Lifeguard Patrolled Beaches in Winter

  • Byron Main Beach (Far North Coast)

  • Park Beach, Coffs Harbour (North Coast)

  • Nobbys (Hunter)

  • Bar Beach / Cooks Hill (Hunter)

  • Merewether (Hunter)

  • Manly (Sydney Northern Beaches)

  • Bondi (Sydney)

  • Bronte (Sydney)

  • Coogee (Sydney)

  • Maroubra (Sydney)

  • Cronulla (Sydney)

  • North Beach (Wollongong)

Visit or download the Beachsafe App, to find patrolled locations and up-to-date beach conditions.


Wednesday 17 July 2019