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A sweltering autumn weekend forecast for much of NSW has volunteer surf lifesavers on their toes as they prepare for an influx of people to hit the beach.

With scorching temperatures expected, visitors to the beach are urged to look after their health by staying hydrated, avoiding the worst heat of the day,  practicing smart sun safety including wearing sunscreen and a hat, and if experiencing any distress to immediately seek medical treatment.

Additionally some parts of the coast are also experiencing hazardous swells in coming days, with the public urged not to be complacent about their safety around the water, and to check the conditions before heading out.

Sadly despite the best efforts of the lifesaving community, there have been 30 drownings so far this season with 21 recorded over the summer period.

This surge in numbers in comparison to the 14 recorded in the corresponding period the previous year reiterates the importance of education and surf safety messages to the public.

“Lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force this weekend but we need the public to take some responsibility for their own safety. We make no apologies for continuing to push our safety messages out to the public because our number one goal will always be for everyone to enjoy their time at our beaches safely,” said Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce,

“Our members have done a wonderful job over summer under some quite challenging situations, and following simple safety tips such as swimming at a patrolled location, taking the time to assess the conditions, and wearing the correct safety gear while participating in an activity such as rock fishing is something we certainly encourage,” said Mr Pearce.

General Beach Safety Tips

• Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website

• Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information

• Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water

• Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

• If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm

• In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police

• Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated.

• For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

Rip Current Safety Information

How to spot a rip current?

Rips are complex, can quickly change shape and location, and at times, are difficult to see. The things to look for are;

• Deeper, dark-coloured water.

• Fewer breaking waves.

• A rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters.

• Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves.

Rips don’t always show all of these signs at once.

How to survive a rip current?

•Relax – stay calm and float to conserve your energy.

•Raise – raise your arm and attract attention from 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 escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves.

• Reassess your situation. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try one of the other options until you’re rescued or return to shore.


Friday 16 March 2018