Surf Life Saving NSW, in partnership with local councils, will provide safe swimming areas as well as be prepared for any rescues, undertake first-aid treatment and provide surf and beach safety advice.
Lifeguards contracted to local councils and a support operations fleet of rescue jet skis, duty officers, the Surfcom Communication Centre and the Ballina Jet Rescue Boat will join volunteers from Far North Coast clubs in protecting beaches from Duranbah through to Yamba on the NSW Far North coast.
“Our lifesaving services play an important part in ensuring the northern NSW coast remains one of Australia’s top summer destinations,” said Michael Gibbs, Media and Public Relations Liaison from the Far North Coast Branch.
“Make sure that you only swim at patrolled beaches. Stay between the red and yellow flags which mark the safe swimming locations.
“Surf lifesavers and lifeguards are there to make sure you stay safe but it so important that people share the responsibility by not taking silly risks.
“Each beach on the North Coast has varying surf conditions that can sometimes be dangerous to those who are unfamiliar with a particular beach or break, and following some commonsense rules can avert a tragedy, especially with the school holidays, which sees an influx of visitors to the region.”
Fingal Rovers Club president Robyn Wonson said: “Besides the vast number of locals that swim at our beach, we have a greater number of tourists — especially having a caravan park right on the beach — who are unfamiliar with the type of beach conditions.
“We always advise that you swim between the flags, and obey the directions of a surf lifesaver or lifeguard when swimming. Should anything happen we are in immediate contact with Surfcom, our radio communications centre who can summon help immediately.”
Beach patrols will continue through the summer season and continue until the end of the autumn school holidays next year, with all clubs and lifeguards patrolling beaches from Yamba to Fingal Head.
With the Tweed Coast now becoming a popular destination, and an alternative to the crowded Gold Coast beaches, this summer expects to be very busy, and with reports from the Bureau of Meteorology, of a warm and hot summer.
“Throughout the season we get inquiries from members of the public about how to become a surf life saver or a lifeguard, and we definitely are always on the lookout for new members. And now is a great time to join up. Most surf lifesavers start their training with the Bronze Medallion which enables them to patrol the Beach,” Robyn said.
If you are interested in joining simply speak to your beach patrol this weekend.
There will be a ceremonial raising of the flags at Lennox Head on Saturday from 9am to mark the season’s opening.