Lifesavers end season
AS the surf life savers at Byron Bay's Main Beach packed up their gear yesterday, they reflected on what had been an absolutely great season.
The weekend marked the end of the official surf life saving patrol season for local lifesavers, a season which, according to Byron Bay Surf Club patrol captain Tom Burns, had been one of the better ones.
"We've had lovely weather and good conditions," he said.
He noted the wonderful weather right across the recent Easter long weekend and said that had symbolised the type of season they had had.
While the team have made rescues, most of the work involved preventative action, instead of dire situations, he said.
They've also had good behaviour from almost all beach goers throughout the season, with the majority of swimmers abiding by the swim between the flag rule.
And with the "good cohort" of patrollers that they have in the Byron Bay Surf Club, Mr Burns said it is always fun to be on patrol.
Since September, teams of roughly 10 lifesavers a patrol have been out and about on local beaches.
Now that it's April, they're wrapping things up and putting away the flags.
It's been some lovely weather in the last few days, so Mr Burns said he believed there would still be a lot of beachgoers in the next week or so.
Even though the official season is over, a number of lifesavers still will be patrolling until the end of May.
They aimed to make safety a priority.
Mr Burns wanted to tell the public to stay safe and to swim between the flags.
He said it's been a wonderful season and the club members couldn't wait to get back into it come September 20, when the official patrol season will begin again.
Provisional statistics from Surf Life Saving NSW revealed that NSW lifesavers have performed 4644 rescues and responded to 401 calls for assistance to the Surf Emergency Response System.
The current coastal drowning toll stands at 23 for this year - well below that of last year which came in at 48.