Northern Star

Lifeguards set for summer

LIFEGUARDS are bracing themselves for the traditionally hectic holiday season on Coffs Coast beaches.

They are among the more than 350 employed lifeguards patrolling 90 beaches on the NSW coast through to Australia Day.

The Australian Lifeguard Service, in partnership with local councils, will provide safe swimming areas as well as undertake rescues, carry out first aid treatment and provide surf and beach safety advice.

“Lifeguard services play an important part in ensuring the NSW coast remains one of Australia’s top summer destinations,” said Stephen Leahy, the NSW chief lifeguard.

“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.”

Operation Edge is the lifeguard summer beach safety campaign which strives to ensure people enjoy their visit to the beach in safety and minimal incidents occur on our beaches.

A recent nationwide study on coastal drownings over the last four years showed males aged up to 30 were most likely to drown and that drownings happened in rips near patrolled spots between noon and 6pm.

Most drownings were in the first months of the year, on weekdays.

The campaign focuses on community education but lifeguards will maintain high visibility.

“Safety information cards will be given to visitors to our beaches and we are placing them in as many hotels, motels, caravan parks and backpacker hostels as possible,” Mr Leahy said.

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