Surf lifesavers at Lighthouse Beach, East Ballina.
Surf lifesavers at Lighthouse Beach, East Ballina. Cathy Adams

Where the safest beaches are to swim

THE second week of school holidays also marks the second week of surf patrol, and volunteer lifesavers said they are confident about the summer ahead.

After completing a four-day intensive course in Lennox Head last month, organisers said trainees are more prepared than ever.

Life guard education coordinator Ruben Roxburgh said the Lifeguard School had been an integral part in preparing new lifeguards for several years.

"While initially it was about informing them about their roles and responsibilities it has evolved to become so much,” Mr Roxburgh said.

"This year we've really tried to broaden the program, to not only focus on developing the participants skills but also working closely with other emergency services to build relationships that will become important at future incidents.”

Along with the Lifeguards from the ALS, representatives from NSW Police, Fire & Ambulance attended as well as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

State Duty Officer Jimmy Keogh presented on the importance of volunteer surf lifesavers working in conjunction with the ALS in emergency situations.

Woolworths Ballina Fair generously supported the program by supplying the food for the school as well as conducting a fresh food and hydration seminar with the new recruits.

"Lifeguards need to not only be aware of their on-beach roles and responsibilities, but also the importance of looking after themselves so they are able to be "rescue ready”, fit and able to respond to any situation,” Mr Roxburgh said.

"We're extremely grateful for Woolworths for their support and I know that our Lifeguards can't wait to get out and do what they do best; ensuring that the beach and ocean environment is a happy and safe one for everyone,” he concluded.

During the school holidays these beaches will be patrolled by the ALS Lifeguards.

  • Tweed: Duranbah, Fingal, Cudgen/Kingscliff, Salt, Casurarina, Cabarita, Hastings, Pottsville North and Pottsville South.
  • Byron: Brunswick, First Sun, Main Beach, The Pass, Wategos and Tallows.
  • Ballina: Lennox Head, Sharps, Shelly and Lighthouse.
  • Richmond Valley: Evans Head.

Tips for keeping safe at the beach

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website.
  • 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 your arm.
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police.
  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

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