Lifesavers remind beachgoers to social distance

With the entire country being asked to isolate, many people are looking to find places they can still get out and exercise while adhering to the constraints of social distancing.

The beach and the bush are locations that people are flocking to for exercise on their own but there is a danger of these places also becoming too populated.

Volunteer surf lifesavers are reminding the public to heed the NSW Government’s order regarding social distancing while visiting NSW beaches.

Lifesavers are reporting higher than usual numbers of people heading to the beach, many of whom are unaware of the new Government order banning gatherings exceeding 500 people.

Steven Pearce, CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, asked beachgoers to heed the advice of volunteer lifesavers on the beach.

Lifesavers say abide by social distancing order

‘Our volunteer lifesavers are on the beach to protect the community and to save lives. We ask that beachgoers abide by the social distancing order put in place by the NSW Government, limiting gatherings in any environment, including the beach, to 500 people,’ he said.

‘It’s important to respect any advice given to you by a surf lifesaver to vacate a beach. It’s for your own safety and the safety of the community as a whole.’

The NSW Government’s order has affected many popular beaches along the NSW coastline. Some of the state’s most popular beaches were closed – including Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Clovelly, Tamarama, Freshwater, Dee Why and Maroubra in Sydney. Redhead, Blacksmiths, Caves Beach and Catherine Hill Bay in the Hunter region were also closed.

Surf patrol captains and club captains have been given the discretion to withdraw patrols if volunteers are concerned about their own safety, irrespective of the numbers of people on the beach.

Patrols have maintained a surveillance role where possible, and Support Operations teams remained on callout duty today, responding to several coastal incidents and emergencies.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said the organisation was in constant communication with Government authorities and is keeping volunteers and surf life-saving clubs updated.

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