Volunteer surf lifesavers are reminding the public to heed the NSW Government’s order regarding social distancing while visiting NSW beaches this weekend.
With the increasing risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, many people are avoiding indoor spaces and instead heading to the beach to make the most of the warm conditions along the NSW coastline.
Lifesavers are reporting higher than usual numbers of people heading to the beach, many of whom are unaware of the new Government order banning gatherings exceeding 500 people.
Steven Pearce, CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, asked beachgoers to heed the advice of volunteer lifesavers on the beach.
“Our volunteer lifesavers are on the beach to protect the community and to save lives. We ask that beachgoers abide by the social distancing order put in place by the NSW Government, limiting gatherings in any environment, including the beach, to 500 people,” said Steven Pearce.
“It’s important to respect any advice given to you by a surf lifesaver to vacate a beach. It’s for your own safety and the safety of the community as a whole,” Pearce concluded.
The NSW Government’s order has affected many popular beaches along the NSW coastline. Some of the state’s most popular beaches were closed today - including Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Clovelly, Tamarama, Freshwater, North Curl Curl, Dee Why and Maroubra in Sydney. Redhead, Blacksmiths, Caves Beach and Catherine Hill Bay in the Hunter region were also closed.
Surf patrol captains and club captains have been given the discretion to withdraw patrols if volunteers are concerned about their own safety, irrespective of the numbers of people on the beach.
Patrols have maintained a surveillance role where possible, and Support Operations teams remained on callout duty, responding to several coastal incidents and emergencies today.
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said the organisation was in constant communication with Government authorities and is keeping volunteers and surf life saving clubs updated.
Sunday 22 March 2020