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Beach patrols extended ahead of high temperatures this weekend

JANUARY is heating up, with the weather this Friday and over the weekend leading into Australia Day forecast to be extremely hot across the Illawarra.

Due to high temperatures, lifeguard patrolled beach hours will be extended for Friday, Saturday and Monday. Wollongong City Council will also be supporting Surf Life Saving Illawarra on Sunday and Tuesday (Australia Day) with roving patrols to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to cool off and swim safely.

Roving patrols will be encouraging visitors to swim only at our patrolled beaches and between the red and yellow flags.

In addition to the increased temperatures, challenging sea conditions are likely, with a predicted surge in swell over the coming days. Sea conditions can change rapidly, adding further emphasis for beachgoers to only swim between the flags.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery encouraged the community to enjoy the warmer weather, but to do so responsibly.

“Warm weather is one of the great aspects of our region,” he said.

“However, this Friday and weekend is going to be particularly warm and busy leading into Australia Day, which will require everyone to use their common sense when out and about.

“If you are going to visit our beaches or pools, always follow the directions of our Lifeguards. Do the simple things right, swim between the flags and remember to keep a towel’s length away from others.”

Council is reminding the community to follow the instructions given by lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers. Cr Bradbery said they are there to assist, but rely on the community to adhere to the advice they provide in order to help the public stay safe. “Wollongong has a wide range of superb beaches. We have seventeen patrolled beaches from Stanwell Park in the north to Windang in the south for people to spread out across,” he said.

“Regardless of which beach you visit, for your own safety, if there are no flags that means no swim. If you do have questions when visiting any of our beaches, our lifeguards and lifesavers are always happy to give advice about beach conditions.”

Additional information on beach safety can be found on Council’s website

If a pool swim is your preference, Council has a pool booking system for patrolled freshwater and saltwater pools to manage crowd numbers and keep everyone COVID-safe. The Book My Swim initiative is a free online booking system that allows residents and visitors to make a 1-2 hour pool booking. Visit Council’s website to make a pool booking and guarantee your swim. Visitors to pools will also need to sign in via the Service NSW QR code or supply their details to staff before entry.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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