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As surf lifesavers prepare for one of the busiest weekends of the season this weekend, a plea to the beach-going public to be cautious around the water has been issued to help avoid tragedies on the NSW coastline.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the state’s beaches over the next three days as people look to make the most both of Australia’s national day and the last weekend before school resumes next week.

The rising mercury which will see temperatures hover around the 30 degree mark has all but guaranteed those who wear the red and yellow will have plenty of action to deal with as they keep a watchful eye on the water.

“Australia Day is always a big day for our volunteers and we have a very simple message we wish to impart,” said SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce.

“We want people to enjoy the day but to do so safely by swimming at a patrolled location and not mixing water and alcohol. 

“Surf Lifesavers will be out in force but sadly we have already experienced at least 13 drownings this summer. Therefore we urge everyone to behave responsibly around the water and not put our members at risk by making reckless decisions such as swimming after having too much to drink,” he said.

Sadly consumption of alcohol is traditionally an issue around this time of year, with people often getting in difficulty because of a lack of awareness of their surroundings and delayed reaction time. 

Lifesavers are also encouraging people to take precautions against the anticipated stifling conditions forecast for this weekend.

“Heat exhaustion is a very real risk and we would urge everyone to ensure that they are drinking plenty of water, reapplying sun-screen regularly, and stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

“Should you become distressed we advise to seek medical treatment immediately from a lifesaver or lifeguard because at the end of the day what everyone in the emergency services community is aiming for is that everyone enjoys their day at the beach safely,” Mr Pearce concluded.

NSW Surf Lifesavers will be patrolling beaches around the state this long weekend from January 26 – 28 inclusive.

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.


Friday 25 January 2019