Lifeguards hit beaches to spread safety message
AS THE annual tide of summer holidaymakers hits our beaches, a North Coast safety campaign has been launched involving more than 120 lifeguards on 41 beaches.
Operation Beachsafe aims to cut the number of preventable drownings in Northern NSW during the summer holidays.
Northern NSW Lifeguard co-ordinator Stephen Leahy said the Australian Lifeguard Service and local councils would provide safe swimming areas, as well as perform rescues, give first-aid treatment and provide beach safety advice.
“Lifeguard services play an important part in ensuring the North Coast remains one of Australia's top summer destinations,” Mr Leahy said.
“People know they can go to a beach close to where they are visiting and there will be a lifesaving service there on any day of the summer holidays.”
Mr Leahy said part of the safety campaign focused on community education, which involved information cards being handed out to visitors.
“Beach-goers should be able to quickly identify their lifeguard when they arrive at the beach,” he said.
Two 4WD vehicles and three rescue jet skis will back up the lifeguard in the event of a major incident and also undertake random checks of unpatrolled beaches.
“We want visitors to have a great time on our beaches, and there are some easy tips to follow to ensure you have fun safely,” Mr Leahy said.
Northern NSW lifeguards launched their summer safety campaign last Saturday and it will continue until Monday, January 26.
- Normal patrol hours: 9am to 5pm daily; Byron Bay Main Beach: 9am to 6pm; Lennox Head and Shelly Beach, Ballina: 9am to 7pm.
- The Wreck, Byron Bay, is now being patrolled for the first time.
- Two lifeguards will be also on duty overnight on New Year's Eve at Byron's Main Beach.