WITH summer officially beginning this weekend surf lifesavers are warning people to stay safe at the beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
With the holiday season just around the corner, Illawarra’s beaches will be inundated with beachgoers and visitors over the coming months for what is shaping up to be a long, hot summer.
Despite the public’s fear about things like sharks, the major hazard this summer will remain rip currents, by far the biggest danger along our coastline, says Surf Life Saving Illawarra.
After a horror season last year with 47 coastal drownings and a spate of recent tragedies along the NSW coast, Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Dean Storey, is urging people to make some simple safety decisions for themselves and their families this summer.
“Plan your day at the beach by choosing a patrolled location to swim at – Surf Life Saving has an easy to use website called beachsafe.org.au and free smart-phone app ‘beachsafe’ to help,” Mr Storey said.
“We have more than 21,000 highly trained surf lifesavers ensuring the safety of beachgoers around the state. With rip currents at most beaches in NSW, if you are not swimming between the flags then you may be putting yourself and your family in danger,” he said.
At the beach, follow these simple safety messages this summer.
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags
- Read the safety signs
- Ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for safety advice
- Learn how to identify a rip
- If you need help, stay calm and attract attention
- If witnessing an in-water emergency call 000-Police
- Always wear a lifejacket while boating or rock-fishing