Main Beach in Byron Bay on Monday, January 4, 2021. Picture: Javier Encalada
Main Beach in Byron Bay on Monday, January 4, 2021. Picture: Javier Encalada

Caution as closed beach pushes swimmers into unsafe waters

It has been a strange summer with arguably the North Coast's most iconic beach off limits due to safety concerns since mid-2020.

Byron Bay's Main Beach was hit by severe erosion last year and submerged rocks remain a hazard for swimmers there, so the beach remains officially closed.

But the town has not been short of visitors this holiday season and as Main Beach remains closed, people have been looking to other stretches of the coast to cool off.

Main Beach in Byron Bay on Monday, January 4, 2021. Picture: Javier Encalada
Main Beach in Byron Bay on Monday, January 4, 2021. Picture: Javier Encalada

The thing about a town's most popular, patrolled beach is it's usually the safest spot to swim.

Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer Chris Samuels said people were now looking to other beaches in the area, but warned they could have hidden dangers.

A group of visitors from Bondi were rescued on Saturday after renting surfboards and getting into strife between Wategos and The Pass.

Lifesavers also helped a surfer who was seriously injured by his own board at Brunswick Heads at the same time.

Main Beach in Byron Bay on Monday, January 4, 2021. Picture: Javier Encalada
Main Beach in Byron Bay on Monday, January 4, 2021. Picture: Javier Encalada

"We are finding people not necessarily going to Byron Main Beach," Mr Samuels said.

"There are lifeguards on the Wreck but it's an unflagged stretch of beach."

He said The Wreck was unflagged because it was not considered a particularly safe area to swim.

Lifeguards are still present at Main Beach, although the beach is closed.

"The best thing people can do is jump onto beachsafe.org.au.

"They give you the locations of patrolled beaches, and beach conditions."

You can also download the Beachsafe mobile app for information on beach conditions.


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