FOURTEEN new recruits have joined the professional lifeguard team to bolster numbers for the peak of the summer swim season.
Every summer Wollongong City Council puts out the call for new recruits to help manage beaches and pools during the swim season. Some of the new lifeguards will join permanent staff for the whole season, while others will hit the sand and patrol the pool deck to boost staffing numbers as required when it’s busier.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said that with people unable – or less likely – to travel during the holidays, this year’s swim season is set to be busier than ever.
“This summer is going to be a busy one at our beaches and during peak swim season, our lifeguard numbers can swell up to 75 at beaches and up to 80 or more at pools across the holiday season.
“It takes many hands on deck to manage all of our beaches and pools so I’d like to say thank you and welcome to everyone who’s joined our team for the summer and will be wearing one of the distinctive white and blue lifeguard t-shirt.
“These are highly skilled individuals and there’s a lot of work that goes into being selected as a Wollongong City Council lifeguard. Each recruit has to go through a gruelling selection process that involves an 800m pool swim, 600m ocean swim, two 800m runs and a 600m rescue board paddle.”
Our new recruits will be stationed at beaches across Wollongong’s 17 patrolled beaches from Stanwell Park in the north to Windang in the south.
For more information about patrol hours and beach locations visit the Wollongong City Council website.
“Our lifeguards are always happy to meet you and give safety advice and tips. So next time you’re at the beach or the pool, come and say hello,” Cr Bradbery said.
“There are many things you can do to make it easier for our lifeguards to keep you safe. Next time you’re at the beach remember to swim between the flags, read the safety signs and follow the advice of lifeguards and lifesavers.”
“Our lifeguards will be doing their best to keep you safe in the water but it’s also up to you to follow the beach and pool safety rules,” said Cr Bradbery.
“No matter how confident a swimmer you are, it’s easy to get out of depth and into trouble. If you’re unsure about the beach conditions, talk to a lifeguard. And remember the most important rule of all, if there’s no flag that means no swim. It’s that simple.”
Is a dip in the pool more your style? Wollongong boasts a number of freshwater and saltwater pools that are patrolled by lifeguards.
To manage crowd numbers, a new online pool booking system has been put in place. Make a pool booking and secure your swim by visiting the Book My Swim website.
For more beach safety tips, visit the Wollongong City Council website.
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