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Surf Life Saving NSW is encouraging all beachgoers to head to a patrolled location if planning to swim this long weekend, with volunteer lifesavers up and down the NSW coastline on high alert.

Despite lockdown restrictions remaining in force, larger numbers are expected to visit the beach.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that the trough which brings potentially damaging winds and heavy rain today will move offshore, making for a largely sunny long weekend.

Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman reinforced the need to make COVID-safe decisions and to understand your limitations.

“While everyone loves a long weekend, particularly when we have been stuck inside for so long, it’s important to remember to be beach safe, both for yourselves and those around you,” he said.

“If you are planning to take a break, please remember that alcohol and the ocean do not mix and please only swim at patrolled locations between the red and yellow flags.

“Making sure your arrangements are COVID-safe is also imperative – there are still restrictions on crowd numbers and large groups, so please keep this in mind if you are heading to the beach.

“Remember, if our lifesavers can’t see you, they can’t save you. We cannot stress this enough.”

It was noted in the recent Coastal Safety Report, released last month by Surf Life Saving NSW, that coastal drownings spiked on long weekends. They are considered a key danger period where, when various factors coincide, the increased risk can be likened to a bushfire emergency.


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

Friday 1 October 2021