NSW Lifesaving issues safety warning

With high temperatures the forecast for the next few days its anticipated many people will flock to a Shoalhaven beach to beat the heat.

For people planning a trip to a Shoalhaven beach the message from surf lifesavers is clear – come, enjoy and cool off at our iconic beaches, but stay safe.

Unfortunately, it’s a message that isn’t always taken to heart with a number of tragic incidents occurring this summer.

There have been 23 fatalities at NSW beaches since July with 13 deaths recorded since the beginning of December.

This represents a 44 per cent increase at the corresponding time last year and is a significant part of the 29 drownings recorded in coastal waters across the country this summer.

NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt du Plessis said with the expected heat and large crowds it is important for everyone to take their safety seriously.

“There are a number of simple ways you can help ensure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable time on the beach,” he said.

“Always swim at a patrolled location between the flags and very importantly, understand how to spot and survive a rip.

“Lifesavers and lifeguards are out in force but we need the public to take some responsibility for their own safety, and sadly the tragic incidents we have witnessed through December and early January are a tragic reminder of the power of the ocean.

“It’s important for everyone to take care in the hot weather, particularly those at higher risk of heat illness, which includes young children and the elderly.

“So if you feel distressed at all please seek medical aid and remember to practice smart sun safety habits such as wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, and staying hydrated by regularly sipping water.”

Beach Safety Tips

• Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website

• Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information

• Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water

• Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

• If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm

• In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police

• Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated.