Brown snake alerts and an allergic reaction to sea lice — it’s been a mixed day for lifeguards, as North Coast Lifeguard Co-Ordinator Steve Leahy reports …

The sun stayed around all day and there was no sign of clouds that were due later in the afternoon.  

We still have some moderate breezes directly onshore the easterly facing beaches and this made for choppy conditions later in the afternoon.   

We also saw lots of rips and some very strong side currents. More than 300 swimmers had to be cautioned about swimming in dangerous locations.

Beaches throughout the Tweed Shire were patrolled today as were Shelly and Lennox Head in the Ballina Shire, Yamba’s Main Beach and North Beach and Hungry Head at Urunga.


  • Rescues: 1
  • Preventative Actions: 317
  • First Aid: 18


Lifeguard Sam Little at Yamba was kept busy in the first hour of his shift when he was required to treat 12 swimmers for strings or bites from sea lice.

One female had a severe allergic reaction and was transported to Maclean District Hospital for further treatment and observation.

Ruben Roxburgh, the lifeguard at Shelly Beach, Ballina, had to contend with a number of brown snakes during the day.

The serpents decided take to the ramps and paths leading on to his beach to take advantage of the sun -– and scaring a lot of beach-goers! 

The Shelly Beach Lifeguard was also kept busy today with hazardous conditions and warned 56 swimmers about swimming in rips outside the flags.

The Communications Officer at our Communications Centre at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina, is also a qualified lifesaver and he was called upon to put his skills to the test mid-afternoon. 

Shortly after 2.15pm, he observed a 19-year-old male German tourist surfing in a rip.

It was obvious that he was unable to make it back into shore and Communications Officer Joel Wiseman paddled out to him on a Rescue Board and guided him out of the rip and back to shore.

Tomorrow’s Forecast:

  • Isolated showers. Light to moderate east to south-east winds, turning fresh east to north-east on the coast. Expected maximum of 23.

Today’s Water Safety Tip

  • Get a friend to swim with you — so you can look out for each other’s safety and get help if needed.