Lifesavers dread New Year's Eve.
Lifesavers dread New Year's Eve. John McCutcheon

New Year's Day: The one day lifesavers 'dread'

IT SEEMS like a fun idea at the time.

You've had celebrations with friends on New Year's Eve, and you decide to go for a swim to usher in the New Year.

Before you know it, you're out of your depth and struggling for air - at risk of becoming yet another casualty of our coastline.

The night of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is an anxious time for lifesavers, according to Surf Life Saving Far North Coast director of lifesaving Chris Samuels.

"You get people out on the drink all night. Or drugs,” Mr Samuels said.

"Some people like to take a midnight swim.

"That never really ends well.”

This year, lifesavers are considering deploying a four-wheel drive and crew overnight in Byron Bay on Saturday with the support of police and paramedics.

Even after a sleep, a dip on a hot New Year's Day can be just as dangerous, Mr Samuels said.

"Generally New Year's Day is the one that we dread,” Mr Samuels said.

"People might still be affected by drugs or alcohol. It might be as simple as just getting in the water for a quick swim.”

But the wrong place at the wrong time, Mr Samuels said a quick dip was enough for someone to get themselves into a life threatening situation.

And under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or a hangover, the odds against them are much worse.

This year is shaping up as particularly busy for lifesavers, with a heatwave right through the weekend not predicted to taper off until Monday.



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