MEDIA RELEASE – 18 December 2017

Stay Safe at the Beach these Holidays  

Surf Life Savers wish for Christmas is for beach goers to be water safety conscious these holidays which, unfortunately, is also the acute drowning period along the Australian coastline.

The 2016/17 Christmas Holidays saw record drowning cases in NSW and tragically there has been 16 drowning deaths on NSW beaches so far this season (from July 1). Thankfully none of these incidents have occurred on Central Coast beaches and Surf Life Saving is desperate to keep it this way with SLSCC President, Stuart Harvey, urging the public to take responsibility for their actions. “

The approaching holidays will be our biggest challenge yet. Our 15 Surf Club patrols will be in full force, with reinforcements from Rescue Water Craft Operators and drone surveillance teams, but as much as we try to be, our lifesavers can’t be everywhere.”

“We want to see everyone enjoying the Central Coast beaches these holidays, but please help lifesavers keep you safe by avoiding swimming at unpatrolled locations. If we can’t see you, we can’t save you.”

“Last season we had two drowning deaths at remote, unpatrolled locations on Central Coast beaches which was tragic for their loved ones at this time of the year. We don’t want a repeat of this again this season.” “Even though conditions may look safe, It’s not always the case as rips are often hard to identify by the untrained eye. The best way to avoid rips is to swim between the flags which is the safest place to swim.”

Last Christmas school holidays, volunteer surf lifesavers saved 426 lives, administered first aid to 1,148 people in need with another 8,987 bathers prevented from getting into difficulty.

Surf Life Savers are particularly concerned about people swimming at the notorious Entrance Channel, especially outside of patrol hours, which is regarded as one of the most dangerous locations along the Central Coast coastline.

Important safety tips to remember these holidays are as follows:

  • Always swim at patrolled locations between the red and yellow flags
  • Obey the safety signs
  • If you’re not sure, ask a lifesaver for safety conditions
  • Learn how to identify a rip
  • Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol
  • Wear a lifejacket when boating or rock fishing
  • Supervise children at all times in and around water.

 For Further Information Please Call:

Chris Parker (SLSCC CEO) – 0438 168 214

Stuart Harvey (SLSCC President) – 0438 422 659

Brett Beswick (SLSCC Director of Lifesaving) – 0422 066 094

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