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After days of very hot weather heading into New Year celebrations, lifesavers are urging people to stay safe over what is traditionally the busiest period on beaches across the state.

It’s been a challenging start to the season for the lifesaving community with at least 17 coastal drownings since July with the rising figure remaining an ongoing concern as peak summer looms.

New Year’s Day is traditionally one of the busiest days of the season as revellers flock to the ocean to cool off at busy city beaches, or head to summer holiday destinations.

Lifesaving services have been extremely busy over the Christmas period. Since Christmas Eve there have been 670 people rescued across NSW.

Significant incidents include a dramatic rescue and resuscitation conducted by three teens at Batemans Bay on Christmas Day, saving the lives of two Indian men caught in a rip.

Snapper Point on the Central Coast continues to be a major blackspot, with seven people rescued from the sea caves in two separate incidents over the last few days.

Surf Lifesavers are on high alert heading into New Years with all support services on standby as well as lifesavers in force across all patrolled locations.

On the Far North Coast the Australian Lifeguard Service has additional resources rostered on to deal with tomorrow’s festivities, with lifeguards rostered to work right through the night at Byron Bay’s Main Beach.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce, is urging everyone planning to head to the coastline to celebrate the New Year to take their safety seriously.

“There are some simple ways you can help ensure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable time on the beach. Always swim at a patrolled location between the flags and very importantly, don’t enter the water under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Steven Pearce.

With the heat, dehydration is also a major concern and people with medical conditions are advised to take extra care around water, and if they feel in distress to seek treatment immediately.

“Lifesavers and lifeguards are out in force but we need the public to take some responsibility for their own safety, and sadly the tragic incidents we have witnessed in December are a tragic reminder of the power of the ocean,” said Steven Pearce.

“Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of the beach going public, and while our volunteers and support teams will be ready in the event of emergencies, we are asking the public to make the job of lifesavers and lifeguards as easy as possible by looking out for their own and others safety.”

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.