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Surf lifesavers from Terrigal SLSC on the state’s Central Coast had a dramatic end to 2017 successfully assisting in the evacuation of the beach after a fireworks display went wrong on New Years Eve.

Fortunately for the large crowd seven club members were present at the event in a patrolling capacity, themselves enjoying the atmosphere before mobilising and ensuring the safety of the thousands of public present for the 9pm fireworks display.

Shortly after the show commenced, a barge carrying fireworks caught fire sending rockets across the water and in the direction of the beach. After the initial explosion, approximately four minutes into the display, rogue fireworks were still launching towards the beach for at least another ten to fifteen minutes.

It is also understood that two pyro-technicians were forced to jump off a barge located in the Haven, as the year-ending display began to go awry.

During the incident a member of the public who was attempting to swim to the stricken barge was successfully rescued from the water by a Terrigal lifesaver. Fortunately the man believed to be aged in his 20s or early 30s required no further assistance after being transported to shore.

Stuart Harvey, Director of Lifesaving NSW, praised all the patrolling members present at last nights event for their amazing job in not only evacuating the beach but also ensuring the aftermath of such an undertaking was run in a smooth and professional manner.

“I would like to congratulate the Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club on their quick response time and expert handling of this incident. It was indeed a job well done,” Mr Harvey said.

“The response of the lifesavers is a credit to Surf Life Saving New South Wales and its adaptive training methods, which gives our members the skills to handle any coastal emergency,” Cathy Cole, Terrigal SLSC Director of Member Services, added. 

While It’s fair to say that this incident wasn’t the way Terrigal Surf Lifesavers were planning on brining in the New Year, their quick response and expert training prevented a potentially serious incident turning into something worse.

Tips on Staying Safe at the Beach during the New Year Period


  •   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

  •   Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water

  •   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.

Monday 1 January 2018