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Patrols on the hop

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Patrols on the hop

The Easter break is always a busy time at the beach, but safety should be the top priority for us all when in and near the water.

Rough autumn surf conditions have prompted a reminder to beachgoers that a dip in the ocean can be deadly if they aren’t swimming at patrolled beaches.

Following a summer of increased drownings in Queensland, thousands of volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards are bracing for what is expected to be another busy and challenging Easter long weekend.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast regional operations manager Aaron Purchase says swimming between the red and yellow flags is always the best way to stay safe at the beach.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone heading to the beach to only swim between the red and yellow flags during patrol hours where lifeguards and lifesavers can see them,” Mr Purchase says.

“If the conditions are extremely rough, as we have experienced recently, staying out of the water can be the best option – no matter how confident a swimmer you are.”

Beachgoers can access the latest information about local beach conditions, including lifeguard patrol status, weather, swell and tide conditions, by downloading the Beachsafe app.

Volunteer surf lifesavers patrol major Sunshine Coast beaches every weekend and on public holidays from 7am to 5pm from the September school holidays to early May. This vital service supports professional funded lifeguard patrols which occur year-round.

Sunshine Coast Council’s $5.8 million investment in lifeguard services this financial year provides 34 permanent lifeguards, two supervisors, a chief lifeguard and a casual pool of up to 96 lifeguards during peak season,. The services are across 22 patrolled beaches from North Coolum to Bulcock Beach.

It also provides professional lifeguards with vital equipment they need to perform their duties, including jet skis, rescue boards, flags and first-aid kits.

Noosa lifesavers and lifeguards monitor beaches from Peregian, north to Noosa.

Visit beachsafe.org.au for more.

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