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Ahead of what promises to be another busy festive season on NSW beaches, lifesavers and lifeguards have issued a plea to those heading to the coast – swim at a patrolled location and look out for your family and friends.

It’s a message that takes on an increased importance at this time of year, with eight people already having lost their lives in NSW coastal waters since July.

There have been three rock fishing deaths over the last eight weeks with the most recent tragedy at Yellow Rock in Sydney on 12 December.

It’s been a busy start to the season for our volunteer surf lifesavers who have carried out over 700 rescues and performed 2,197 first aid treatments since the patrol season began in September.

NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent said lifesavers are preparing for a busy Christmas period and has urged the public to take precautions to ensure that they can enjoy their time at the beach safely.

“Please take the time to assess the conditions before heading out, and if you think it’s beyond your capabilities don’t go in the water. This is particularly important if you are going to a beach that you only visit during the holidays or if you have children in tow.

Talk to lifeguards or lifesavers as they are familiar with the conditions,” Mr Kent said.

“As always we urge everyone to swim at patrolled locations and to look out for each other on the beach. If you’re going rockfishing, boating or heading offshore in a kayak or other small watercraft, please wear a lifejacket. ”

Mr Kent also thanked the state’s army of red and yellow volunteers who will be patrolling the beaches during the festive season.

“I would like to thank all our selfless volunteers sacrificing their time to ensure the safety of others and also to the families who support them.”

Volunteer lifesavers will be patrolling each weekend and public holiday until the 2016/17 season concludes on Tuesday 25 April 2017. Lifeguards will be on patrol at many beaches on weekdays throughout the summer.

Tips For Keeping Safe At The Beach

  • 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 your arm

  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police

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


Saturday 24 December 2016