THE flags will go up on northern beaches this weekend as Wollongong City Council lifeguards gear up for the 2019/2020 swim season, which begins on Saturday September 28.
Council lifeguards will patrol 17 beaches from Stanwell Park to Windang, six days a week, with Surf Life Saving Illawarra volunteers taking the reins on Sundays.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said there are more than 80 casual and fulltime professional ocean lifeguards for this season and they will be patrolling beaches where there are likely to be more than one million people visits.
“Beach-goers are reminded to swim at patrolled beaches and all swimmers are strongly advised to heed all surf warnings, and No Flags, No Swim.
“We have 42km of coastline in our city with 17 patrolled beaches and the oldest lifeguard service in NSW.”
Professional lifeguards have patrolled Wollongong’s beaches since 1912.
This year’s lifeguards range from 17 to 64 years in age and 17 percent are female.
More than 70 per cent of Council’s lifeguards for the season have gained previous experience as volunteers with the surf lifesaving movement. Council Lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers will be on duty until April 28 2020.
“Our beaches are a wonderful place to visit during the summer months. So we recommend that beach goers talk with our friendly lifeguards if they wish to know more about surf conditions and to always swim between the flags,” Cr Bradbery said.
For more information visit Council’s website or call (02) 4227 7111.