Surf lifesavers prepare for a busy start to the new year

THE red and yellow flags will be out on our beaches tomorrow as volunteer lifesavers prepare for one of the busiest days of the season, New Year's Day.

Surf Life Saving NSW operations manager Adam Weir has urged beachgoers to celebrate the start of 2016 safely.

"There are a number of simple tips that can help ensure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable day on the beach," Mr Weir said.

"If you're going swimming it's extremely important not to do so while under the influence of alcohol or drugs as it can slow your reaction time."

He said to keep an eye on weather conditions and to ask lifesavers about safety concerns or for general advice.

"Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of the beach-going public, and while our well-trained volunteers will be on hand to assist in any emergency situation we urge everyone to keep themselves safe by swimming between the red and yellow flags," Mr Weir said.

Last season there were 37 coastal drowning deaths in NSW waters.

Preliminary data indicates an increased number of beachgoers, however coastal drownings since July are lower with 13 recorded, compared to 19 drownings over the same period last year.

Lifesavers have also been adminstering first aid treatment to the public for a variety of injuries including broken bones, lacerations from stray surfboards and marine stings.

Volunteer lifesavers will be patrolling each weekend and public holiday until April.

There are 21,000 livesavers around the state.

 

Beach Safety Tips

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags
  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero
  • Don't forget to be sun safe. Slip on some protective clothing, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, slide on a pair of sunglasses, seek some shade and sip on lots of water
  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe website or download the app.

Source: Surf Life Saving NSW



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