A recent spate of drownings involving unsuspecting tourists has prompted a partnership between the newly formed North Coast Destination Network and Surf Life Saving NSW to educate international visitors about beach safety.
Coinciding with the warmer weather and start of the surf life saving season, pamphlets, posters, counter displays and DVDs have been distributed to visitor centres, airports and international language schools in north coast towns frequented by international visitors.
The campaign will focus on key beach safety messages, such as always swim at patrolled locations, between the red and yellow flags, read the safety signs, and if you are unsure of surf conditions, ask a lifesaver or lifeguard.
North Coast Destination Network spokesperson Russell Mills hopes that by providing international visitors with this information they will have the knowledge needed to stay safe at the beach.
‘Unfortunately there are tragic and needless deaths by drowning on our beaches and in our waterways and in many instances these are international visitors,’ said Mr Mills.
‘This is a very simple initiative to get beach safety messages into the hands of international visitors in languages they understand.’
Surf Life Saving NSW president Tony Haven welcomes the opportunity to raise international visitors’ awareness of beach safety.
‘International tourists especially are often not prepared for the conditions at Australian beaches. We need to make them aware of the various hazards at the beach and what to do if they get in trouble.’
The information is available in seven languages including traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hindi, Malay, Arabic and will be supported by linkages to the beachsafe.org.au website, on all information distributed through social media channels, partner sites and the visitor centres.