Sunshine Coast Council and Surf Life Saving Queensland have celebrated the launch of the new Bokarina Beach lifeguard tower, which will be staffed by professional lifeguards to keep thousands of beachgoers safe this summer, last week.
It comes as the official patrol season (September to May) kicked off last week across the state in conjunction with the start of the September school holidays.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson says council’s $5.5-million investment in lifeguard services this financial year again showed beach safety is a top priority for the region.
“More than 20 areas across the Sunshine Coast will be patrolled by highly skilled lifeguards as well as lifesavers throughout the season,” Mayor Jamieson says.
“Incredibly, they performed 389 rescues, 4806 first aid treatments and provided 262,018 warnings to more than seven million visitors to our beaches
“We have some of Australia’s most enviable and popular beaches and our council wants to ensure that everyone who comes to those beaches can enjoy a safe experience.
“So the important message to everyone going to the beach is stay safe this summer.”
SLSQ released its 2020 Coast Safe Report and Sunshine Coast regional Manager Aaron Purchase says an alarming trend has lifeguards worried.
“It found 89 per cent of all rescues across Queensland were performed outside of the red and yellow flags,” Mr Purchase says.
“Our message is very clear: you must swim between the red and yellow flags and check beach conditions before swimming.
“We’re preparing for one of our biggest seasons yet, particularly with people wanting to enjoy the outdoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Division three councillor Peter Cox says the Bokarina Beach lifeguard tower will be patrolled on weekends, public holidays and Queensland school holidays from September to May.
“Patrols from this new tower will greatly improve lifeguard surveillance along this stretch of our coastline” Cr Cox says.
For detailed patrol times and locations please visit the Beach Safe website at beachsafe.org.au.
Sunshine Coast patrolled areas include:
Level 1 – Major location (patrolled all year): Kings Beach, Dicky Beach, Mooloolaba Main and Spit, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Twin Waters, Mudjimba, Discovery Beach and Coolum.
Level 2 – Seasonal service (seven days a week between September to May, plus weekends, school and public holidays during winter): Bulcock, Marcoola, Buddina/Kawana, Coolum North.
Level 3 – Weekend service: Currimundi.
Level 4 – Minimal seasonal service: Kings Beach Pool, Boardwalk, Bokarina and Wurtulla
Level 5 – Holiday service only: Golden Beach and Yaroomba.