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With a number of key events taking place in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland in the coming days, surf lifesavers are gearing up for a late season surge on the region’s beautiful beaches.

From Thursday thousands are expected to descend on Byron Bay for the annual Bluesfest, and though early forecasts indicate there is a strong possibility of rain throughout the event, high temperatures mean that people will still be looking for a place to cool off.

Lifesavers from across the Far North Coast will be out in force on the Easter Weekend with patrols from all 10 local surf clubs on patrol on the four days from Good Friday.

The Support Operation Team will also have assets on standby providing extra coverage for beachgoers throughout the busy period.

Additionally all eyes will be on the Gold Coast from next Wednesday with the Commonwealth Games getting underway until April 15, and with many of the areas within an easy day trip of the competition venue, lifesavers are expecting an influx of crowds.

In recent months there has been a concentrated effort for lifesaving assets from NSW and Queensland to work more closely together to ensure the safety of all coastal users and this new partnership looks set to pay immediate dividends with an agreement in place for the duration of the Commonwealth Games which incorporates the Queensland School Holiday period.

From this week, the Queensland Helicopter will fly twice daily patrols as far south as Dreamtime Beach at Fingal during the week before, adding a third flight on weekends.

Far North Coast Director of Lifesaving Chris Samuels said the addition of these assets along with the ongoing support from across the Far North Coast Operations Team is particularly important ahead of Easter.

“It’s fantastic that Surf Life Saving Queensland is able to provide support for us with this additional surveillance for the next fortnight. As lifesavers these relationships between emergency services are crucial, and it is something we are continually working on strengthening for the benefit of beachgoers across the area.”

The experienced lifesaver also had a safety warning and is urging people not to get complacent as conditions that look benign can change rapidly

“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 Samuels said.

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.

Thursday 29 March 2018