Lifeguards begin week-day patrols in Byron
By EMMA O'NEILL
IF YOU have been worried about getting into the ocean in the wake of recent shark sightings, help is at hand.
From today, the red and yellow flags are set to be blowing in the week-day wind on Byron Bay's Main Beach.
The lifeguard season begins today and will provide week-day patrols on the beach from 9am to 6pm.
These patrols will continue until the end of April next year.
Further lifeguards will commence duty at Clarks Beach, The Pass, Wategos, Tallow, Suffolk Park and Broken Head beaches from Monday, December 24.
Meanwhile, if hundreds of junior surf life savers competing in a nipper's carnival at Byron Bay yesterday were scared of sharks, they certainly weren't showing it.
After unconfirmed sightings of a shark near Main Beach during the morning, the carnival was stopped for 15 minutes while a rescue boat and jet ski patrolled the area.
Once lifeguards confirmed swimmers weren't at risk, the carnival continued.
Around 600 nippers, most of whom were under 10, put their complete trust in the lifeguard service and raced back into the water as soon as the all-clear was given.
Rachel Brown, of Byron Bay, was competing yesterday and said she wasn't scared of sharks.
Eight-year-old Ava Buckley, who was competing for Byron Bay Surf Club, said she was only 'a little bit scared' of sharks, but it wouldn't stop her.
The Australian Lifeguard Service will continue to use the jet ski shark patrols as part of its beach safety program.
As part of the weekly patrol, lifeguards will be also on the look-out for anyone having trouble in the surf.