18.6 C
Byron Shire
December 6, 2021

New Year’s warning for NSW Beaches 

Latest News

Cadwallader, Lyon and Krieg most likely new Far North Coast mayors

With most of the votes cast, and counting over until tomorrow, the New South Wales Electoral Commission stats would suggest that there are three clear winners of the mayoral contests in Ballina, Byron and Lismore Shires.

Other News

Cr Basil Cameron’s Mayoral choice

Cr Cate Coorey is my choice for mayor. I have worked with Cate on Council for the last five years....

Ballina Council agrees to consider tighter holiday let policy

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to investigate options for restricting short-term rental accommodation.

Fake Greens

This is a strange election. Michael Lyon, Jeanette Martin (and retired Simon Richardson) all rode the Greens ticket to get...

Assistance in choosing the right team for mayor

Some advice from two wise elders: Many years ago my grandpa gave me some advice on punting, which seems...

Lismore airport supported by community?

I am writing in response to your article, ‘Lismore airport supported by community’. First of all, the Lismore airport is...

Former Byron Mayor talks about the ‘Green challenge’

It’s not easy being green, it never has been, but we are proud of our long-term commitment to Greens...

Surf Lifesavers across the state are on standby for incidents, rescues and other emergencies in the lead-up to the traditionally busy and often dangerous New Year’s period.

Surf Life Saving NSW say the number of rescues over Christmas has been significant, with more than 200 rescues performed by lifesavers since 21 December, one confirmed drowning and some near fatal incidents.

While lifesavers and lifeguards are bracing for the usual spate of incidents related to New Year’s Eve revelry, some parts of the state, including the Greater Sydney area and the Northern Beaches are expected to be much quieter due to COVID-related gathering restrictions.

In addition, with persistent wet weather across large parts of NSW, the crowds normally experienced on New Year’s Day across beaches may not be as significant as past years.

Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales said New Year’s Day is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year on our beaches. ‘While crowds might be reduced this year due to COVID restrictions and the weather, it is still an extremely dangerous period for drownings, coastal deaths and other emergencies.

Play it safe around all forms of water

‘We are urging people to play it safe around all forms of water and remember that alcohol and swimming can be a deadly combination.’

In the north of the state, lifeguards and lifesavers are preparing for increased incidents with additional support operations measures, with the focus around Byron’s Main Beach area and the Tweed.

Jimmy Keough from the Far North Coast SLS Branch said Byron remains a hazard due to the coastal erosion which makes it hard to actively patrol due to the instability along the dunes. ‘Poor water clarity and a high tide overnight on New Year’s Eve could also create issues.

‘We will have Support Operations Duty Officers in vehicles conducting surveillance patrols early, from around 6am on New Year’s Eve and throughout the day and evening.’

Byron services extending patrols until 2am

Byron Shire Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service will be extending surveillance patrols until 2am at the popular location to try to keep people safe.

Northern NSW Lifeguard Coordinator, Scott McCartney, said that despite the wet weather, there are still plenty of people on beaches across the north coast. ‘We’ll be watching for people attempting to swim under the influence, or at night as there are still lots of submerged rocks and other debris close to shore that could be dangerous to swimmers.’

In the Greater Sydney area, including Wollongong and the Central Coast, Surf Life Saving will be working with councils to assist with ensuring the latest restrictions on groups of people gathering are observed. ‘We are able to assist with monitoring crowds on beaches and we can also issue alerts via the Beachsafe website and app if councils request us to do so. These alerts can warn people that particular locations are becoming crowded and suggest they look at going to a different beach or coastal area,’ said George Shales.

Across the state, rescue assets including jetskis and UAVs will be conducting roving patrols to support lifesavers and lifeguards outside of patrolled locations.

Since 1 July 2020, there have been 17 coastal drownings recorded in NSW waters.

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

For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Growing number of dogs

Thanks to Alison Drover for her informative article in last week’s Echo regarding the growing number of dogs in the Shire to be managed...

Responsible dog owner

I read with interest Alison Drover’s article on dog management and the follow up letters last week, and I couldn’t agree more. I am indifferent...

Dogs need control

I agree with Alison Drover’s recent article and her final line ‘wildlife needs more love, and our dog owners need a tighter lead’. But the...

COVID update December 3: One new case and advice for international travellers

One new case of COVID-19 was reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 2 December. Northern NSW Local...