Eventful summer season for lifeguards

Twenty-five people were rescued from drowning on local beaches during summer by the Eurobodalla branch of Lifeguarding Services Australia (LSA).

Eurobodalla Council contracts the service to daily patrol eight popular swimming beaches from Surf Beach to Dalmeny in the summer school holidays. This is in addition to patrols undertaken by volunteer lifesavers throughout the swimming season.

Of the 25 rescues, 14 were at Broulee, four at Malua Bay, three at Tuross Head, two at Surf Beach and one at Moruya and Narooma.

LSA provided first aid 320 times on Eurobodalla beaches and took 6,215 preventative actions, which includes giving advice to people swimming outside the red and yellow flags.

LSA Chief Executive Officer Stan Wall said that while rescues decreased this year by 40 per cent, first aid provisions increased by 700 per cent and preventative actions increased 44 per cent.

“We did experience a massive increase in the number of first aids attended. This can be attributed to an increase in north-east winds, which brought significant amounts of blue bottles and an increase of stings from sting rays,” he said.

“Once again Lifeguarding Services Australia is proud to report that zero lives were lost the Council’s eight patrolled beaches.”

Council’s Divisional Manager Recreation Kim Bush said about 140,000 people attended the eight LSA-patrolled beaches in December and January - a 17,000 increase on last year.

“Surf Beach was the busiest with 39,000 followed by Tuross Head with 23,000 and Broulee with 21,000,” she said.

“It was an eventful season, with five joint emergency callouts, wild weather closing beaches on 10 occasions, six off-location rescues and three closures due to shark sightings.

“We also held two very successful sea-dye demonstration days to help beachgoers identify dangerous rip currents.”

Volunteer lifesavers will continue patrols on weekends and public holidays only at Malua Bay and Broulee South to 17 Apriland Moruya’s South Head and Narooma’s Main Beach to 25 April. Media Release

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