Keen to keep us safe these holidays
WITH school holidays beginning today, our local lifeguards are gearing up to prepare for the influx of visitors to our beaches.
Byron Bay Surf Club president Neil Cameron said his team was more than prepared to oversee the holiday traffic to the beaches.
"Our patrols increase in time while the school holidays are on - the weekends and holidays are covered by the volunteer lifesavers and weekdays by paid lifeguards," Mr Cameron said.
Six or seven volunteers will patrol Main Beach, Byron Bay, at weekends, while about two paid lifeguards patrol each beach on weekdays, he said.
Beachgoers can expect nothing but the best from their lifeguards - they're all Gold Medallion holders.
"Top of the line as far as lifesaving goes," Mr Cameron said.
All the volunteers hold Bronze, Silver or Gold Medallions, ensuring they all have advanced first aid and resuscitation skills.
Showing how good their team is, they've recently had some success at the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships in Perth, where team members from their Masters division, Under-17s and Under-15s got placed in various events.
Mr Cameron said the surf club's first aid equipment and vehicles were nothing but first class.
"We can't really ask for anything better than we've got, thanks to good sponsorship," he said.
He noted the weather forecasts looked good for beachgoers but people still needed to be aware of their own safety at the beach.
"Hopefully the cyclone up north won't create too much of a problem in terms of swell," he said.
"People think we're bullet-proof but they still need to be aware that there can be dangerous conditions, even between the flags - we don't know their capability of swimming.
"We're always keeping a close watch but you can't watch everybody at the same time."
He said beachgoers should always check the surf conditions with the lifeguards or on the surf report chalkboards before getting in the water and to always swim between the flags - and make sure they stay between them.