Have your swimmers and beach towels ready, as 15 Central Coast beaches and The Grant McBride Baths will begin their 2023/24 Beach Patrol Season from this Saturday 23 September.
The season will commence with an official raising of the flag’s ceremony this Saturday 23 September at Terrigal Beach hosted by Surf Life Saving Central Coast.
Council’s Unit Manager Leisure Beach Safety and Community Facilities, Phil Cantillon said the red and yellow flags signify lifeguards and lifesavers have returned to patrol to keep our community safe when enjoying our beautiful coastline.
“Council’s lifeguards and Surf Life Saving volunteers provide search and rescue services for our coastal beaches, as well as emergency medical care when required,” Mr Cantillon said.
“They also play an important role in educating swimmers and visitors on beach and water safety.
“The 2022/23 season concluded with 1,742 rescues and treated over 3,200 first aid incidents. This is a timely reminder to the community that while we have lifeguards and lifesavers on patrol, it is important to stay up to date with safety messaging so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable season.”
Key safety tips include:
- Take the time and drive five more minutes to a patrolled beach and swim in between the flags
- If you get into difficulty, stay calm, raise your arm and yell for assistance
- Never run or dive into the water, as the depth can change quickly
- Children should always be supervised by an adult at all aquatic locations
- If you are unsure of the conditions, ask a lifeguard or lifesaver
- Always listen to the lifeguards and lifesavers
- Avoid swimming for at least one day after heavy rain to decrease exposure to stormwater pollution
- Be aware of obvious signs of pollution such as litter, odours and surface scum following heavy rain
- If you’re going rock fishing, be sure to plan ahead – wear appropriate safety equipment, let others know where you are going and carry a charged phone.
Council Administrator, Rik Hart said both Council lifeguards and Surf Life Savers are committed to supporting a safe season ahead.
“As with past seasons, the goal is to ensure that everyone who visits our beautiful waterways do so safely,” Mr Hart said.
“I urge the community to keep safety top-of-mind and encourage residents and visitors alike to find their closest patrolled location this summer.”
Council lifeguards patrol our shorelines between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, and Surf Life Saving volunteers keep everyone safe on weekends and public holidays.
During the busy Christmas holiday period the 15 beach locations and The Grant McBride Baths will be patrolled for an extra an hour (9am-6pm) from 18 December 2023 to 28 January 2024.
Council also has a suite of serviced beach wheelchairs available for free hire, along with beach matting installed at several beaches across the Coast.