Sunshine Coast surf lifesavers and lifeguards had their work cut out for themselves over the busiest beach period on the region’s calendar, with astronomical numbers of visitors recorded.
Surf Life Saving Queensland figures show a total of 858,955 visits to the region’s patrolled beaches from December 23 to January 1 – more than three times as many as the Gold Coast.
The numbers are equivalent to more than the populations of Tasmania and Cairns combined heading for some sun, surf and sand from Rainbow Beach to Redcliffe over the festive period.
Lifesavers throughout the 15 branch clubs performed a total of 49 rescues, took 7731 preventative actions and completed 1147 first-aid treatments across those 10 days.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Peta Lawlor is thanking beachgoers for their cooperation, and the hardworking surf lifesavers and lifeguards.
“While most people are enjoying some time off at this time of year, surf lifesavers and lifeguards are on patrol – many of them taking time away from their family and friends to keep the community safe,” she says.
“Beaches will continue to be popular throughout the month of January, so please keep yourself and your family safe by only swimming between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches.”
The swell of numbers comes as the Miles government is announcing SLSQ will receive a massive uplift in funding. The record $125 million surf life saving investment is the biggest in the nation and builds on the current four-year $30 million commitment, due to conclude at the end of this financial year.
The commitment includes $113 million in funding for a 10-year service level agreement and an immediate $12 million to boost infrastructure and equipment at every surf club in the state.
More than 35,000 Queenslanders are volunteer members of a surf lifesaving club and more than 462,000 are a member of an affiliated supporters club. It’s hoped the boost will help grow volunteer and club numbers even further.