Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) will resume patrols on beaches across the Tweed, Byron, Ballina, and Richmond regions this week as tourists flock to the north coast for the Christmas break.
Byron Shire Council’s decision to provide lifeguards at Main Beach throughout the winter two seasons ago has been widely welcomed by locals and tourists.
Eight beaches across the shire (South Golden, Brunswick Heads, First Sun, The Pass, Wategos, Tallows, Suffolk Park and Broken Head), will all resume patrols from Wednesday.
With the exception of Main Beach and Brunswick Heads, all patrols will be a seven-day-a-week service.
In Ballina, lifeguards have been patrolling Lennox Head (Seven Mile Beach) since late September while the other three locations at Sharpes, Shelly and Lighthouse Beach also come online from today, Monday 19 December.
Patrols commenced at North Kingscliff earlier this month with the remaining beaches Duranbah/Flagstaff, Fingal, Cudgen/Kingscliff, Salt, Casuarina, Cabarita, Hastings, Pottsville (North) and Mooball (Pottsville South) all being staffed from Wednesday (December 21).
Patrol times will vary from Monday-Friday through to a seven-days-a-week service and will continue until late January.
Meanwhile in Richmond Valley, lifeguards will be patrolling Evans Head between Monday and Friday from Wednesday 21 December until January 27.
Additionally, volunteer surf lifesavers will be patrolling on weekends and public holidays ensuring that there will be plenty of eyes on the water throughout the summer.
ALS northern coordinator Scott McCartney said lifeguards are looking forward to resuming their patrol duties after performing strongly in their annual proficiency tests.
‘We are at the stage of the season now where all the testing is complete and everyone is just really looking forward to putting their skills into practice,’ Mr McCartney said.
‘This year we will be continuing to emphasise preventative actions on the part of our lifeguards to ensure that potentially dangerous situations are dealt with before they escalate.
‘This could include such actions as encouraging swimmers to swim between the flags and identifying hazards that could impact on beachgoers safety,’ Mr McCartney said.
He also praised the three coastal councils for their commitment to the safety of all beach goers in the area.
Lifeguards will be patrolling the following Far North Coast Beaches this summer;
- South Golden 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Brunswick Heads 21/12/16 to 27/01/17 (5 days)
- First Sun 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Main Beach Byron (ongoing)
- The Pass 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Wategos 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Tallows 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Suffolk Park 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Broken Head 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Lennox Head (Seven Mile) 26/09/16 to 24/04/17 (5 days)
- Sharps 19/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Shelly 19/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Lighthouse 19/12/16 to 27/01/17 (5 days)
• Duranbah/Flagstaff – 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
• Fingal – 21/12/16 to 27/01/17 (5 days)
• North Kingscliff – 10/12/16 to 26/01/17 (7 days)
• Cudgen/Kingscliff 21/12/16 to 27/01/17 (5 days)
• Salt 21/12/17 – 27/01/17 (5 days)
• Casuarina 21/12/16 to 29/01/1 (7 days)
• Cabarita 21/12/16 to 27/01/17 (5 days)
• Hastings 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
• Pottsvile (North) 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
• Mooball (Pottsville South) 21/12/16 to 29/01/17 (7 days)
- Evans Head 21/12/16 to 27/01/17 (5 days)
For a full list of beaches and patrol times please visit the BeachSafe Wbesite