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The year of the never-ending summer finally draws to a close this weekend as volunteer surf lifesavers across the state prepare to pull on their red and yellow uniforms for their final patrol of the season from tomorrow.

It has been another huge effort from the 21,000 active patrolling lifesavers who have dedicated their time to keep beachgoers safe from areas as diverse as Byron Bay to Pambula this season.

Those members will now get to enjoy a well-deserved break, although some beaches across the state will continue to be patrolled by council lifeguards, ensuring that there is a presence on the coastline throughout the cooler months.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of every single one of our lifesavers who have contributed to the movement this season,” said Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce.

“Our members have done a wonderful job over summer under some quite challenging situations, and with it being the final weekend of patrol it’s crucial to reiterate the key safety messages as complacency can potentially lead to some deadly situations.

“I would encourage everyone looking to make the most of the last weekend of the school holidays to swim at a patrol location, assess the conditions by gathering as much information as possible including tidal times and any changes in the weather, and always wear the correct safety gear including lifejackets when participating in an activity such as boating or fishing,” said Mr Pearce.

The warm start to autumn has contributed significantly to the workload of volunteer surf lifesavers who have performed more than 5,000 rescues and watched over at least 6 million visitors on NSW beaches since coming on duty last September.

Unfortunately there have also been 36 coastal drownings recorded in the state’s waters since last July with the most recent coming earlier this week when a man drowned after the vessel he was travelling in capsized near Kurnell in Sydney’s south on Anzac Day.

While conditions this autumn have generally been perfect for a beach outing that could soon change.

A hazardous surf warning has been issued for coastal waters in Northern NSW with beaches from Coffs Harbour through to the Queensland Border set to experience a southerly swell with peaks of over 2 metres in some areas for at least the next 24 hours.

Although conditions in the area are likely to vary with some less exposed beaches likely to see smaller swells, all beachgoers are advised to use caution before heading out.

Flags will fall on season 2017/18 this Sunday 29 April with volunteer surf lifesavers to return for the new season from late September.

General 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 27 April 2018