Sun lovers hit beaches
PEOPLE are finally making the most out of the school holidays and flocking to the Northern Rivers’ beaches in huge numbers.
But despite the large crowds, volunteer lifesavers said there were no major incidents recorded over the weekend.
The weekend’s slightly overcast days and a few scattered showers were not enough to keep Queenslanders from descending over the border and the locals from hitting the waves to mark the start of the lifesaving season.
Carolyn Cardinet and her family were among the thousands of sun revellers on North Coast beaches over the weekend, and again yesterday, with its glorious spring weather.
Mrs Cardinet said she was happy to escape the dreary, cold Melbourne weather for Byron Bay’s popular Main Beach.
“I don’t go to the beach at home, even though I live right next door, because it is freezing,” she said.
“It’s fantastic to come to the beach here and you could not ask for nicer weather. We have a holiday house at Suffolk Park so we come up here about five times a year.
“We love the lifestyle and how relaxed it is. The kids are teenagers now so they want to hang out with their friends, so they are happy if they get to bring a friend with them.”
Volunteer lifesavers conducted three rescues, 15 first-aids and more than 160 preventative actions on Northern NSW beaches over the weekend.
“We had about 4000 people who attended our beaches from the Queensland border down to Yamba,” Jimmy Keough, Surf Life Saving NSW Far North Coast emergency services co-ordinator, said.
“We did have onshore winds on Saturday that kept numbers down, but on Sunday there were significant numbers of people, especially on the northern end of the coast.
“A lot of people have come down from Queensland and interstate and we saw huge numbers of young children.”
Even some uninvited guests made a brief appearance.
“Byron Bay’s Main Beach was closed for two hours on Saturday after reports there were two sharks in the area around The Pass and Main Beach,” Mr Keough said.
Patrols were done by volunteer lifesavers who guided the sharks out to sea. Lifesavers then kept up surveillance for the rest of the day.
Mr Keough said they were always ready for a busy season.
“All we ask is that all visitors and locals swim between the flags,” he said.
Lifesaver patrols continue until the start of May.