Schoolies
Schoolies

Biggest dangers facing this year’s schoolies

"LAUGHING gas", high-rise hijinks and the heat loom as the biggest dangers at this year's Schoolies, police and paramedics have warned.

Authorities outlined their concerns at a media conference as 18,000 teens prepare to hit Surfers Paradise tonight for the annual rite of passage.

They say "laughing gas" or "nangs" - nitrous oxide gas canisters used to whip cream - are

major concerns after the death of a NSW teen who fell from a Surfers Paradise high-rise at last year's Schoolies while high on the substance.

Dangerous balcony behaviour and the heat responsible for the bushfire crisis are also a worry for the hundreds of emergency services personnel who will be stationed in Surfers Paradise to try to keep school-leavers safe.

Hamish Bidgood (R) who died at the 2018 Schoolies after inhaling nitrous oxide
Hamish Bidgood (R) who died at the 2018 Schoolies after inhaling nitrous oxide

Temperatures above 30C are forecast for day one of Schoolies, and Queensland Ambulance Service supervisor Justin Payne said the heat posed a real health risk for teens.

"They're often replacing a lot of their liquid intake with alcohol unfortunately," he said.

"Paramedics will be monitoring every situation that comes in. We're obviously very concerned about the high levels of alcohol intoxication that we often see and, like the police, we're concerned about the illegal use of illicit substances."

Mr Payne urged Schoolies revellers to stay hydrated with free water available from recharge stations around the precinct.

He said 'nangs' were another concern for paramedics after the death of NSW teen Hamish Bidgood, who fell from the 11th floor of the Surf Regency building at last year's Schoolies after inhaling nitrous oxide.

"We're going to closely monitor (the use) of inhaled substances and chemicals, in particular 'nangs' (which) has become a bit of a concern," Mr Payne said.

"The misuse of nangs can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and we'[ve seen injuries and deaths as a result."

 

Canisters of ­nitrous oxide gas — also known as nangs or bulbs - found on the beach at Surers Paradise, where NSW teen Hamish Bidgood plunged to his death at the 2018 Schoolies. Photo: Nathan Richter
Canisters of ­nitrous oxide gas — also known as nangs or bulbs - found on the beach at Surers Paradise, where NSW teen Hamish Bidgood plunged to his death at the 2018 Schoolies. Photo: Nathan Richter

 

South Eastern Region police Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins repeated his warning about balcony safety following the death a 22-year-old man who fell from the Breakers North apartments in Surfers Paradise earlier this week.

""We're always concerned about balcony falls," he said.

"I don't want my people having to deliver death messages (to families). I want school-leavers to go home to their family and I'm certainly sure their families want that."

Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation regional manager Tony Forden said his inspectors would be issuing on-the-spot fines of up to $400 for teens caught drinking in public.

He said inspectors would also be blitzing nightclubs looking for fake IDs, with 300 seized last year.

However, Mr Forden said this was well down on the approximately 1000 fake IDs confiscated when he first started at Schoolies 12 years ago.



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