Lifesavers wishing for a safe summer

WITH Christmas only days away and the school holidays starting, volunteer lifesavers from around the state are preparing for a busy summer on our beaches.

Unwinding at the beach is a fantastic way to relax but too often people are getting into difficulty because they are not taking simple steps that could help keep them safe.

Volunteer lifesavers have been patrolling since mid-September and during that time they have performed over 1200 rescues.

Tragically there have been 13 drownings this financial year with the most recent at Lake Conjola on the state's south coast involving an international tourist on December 12, which is a timely reminder about the importance of swimming at patrolled locations.

With holiday makers flocking to the coast and to beaches that they might visit rarely, NSW Lifesaving Manger Andy Kent is urging everyone to be "beach safe."

"There are a number of simple tips that we would urge everyone to make part of their planning so that they can enjoy the beach and coastal environment safely," Mr Kent said.

"Please take the time to assess the conditions before heading out, and if you think it's beyond your capabilities it's best not to go into the water.

"This is particularly important if you are going to a beach that you only visit during the holidays or if you have children in tow.

"Talk to lifeguards or lifesavers as they are familiar with the conditions.

"As always we urge everyone to swim at patrolled locations and to look out for each other on the beach."

Mr Kent also thanked the volunteers who will be patrolling the beaches during the festive season.

"I would like to thank all our volunteers and especially those who are sacrificing family time to ensure the safety of everyone who is out enjoying all that our wonderful and diverse coastline has to offer," he said.

Volunteer lifesavers will be patrolling each weekend and public holiday until the 2015/16 season concludes on Monday April 25, 2016.

Lifesavers' tips for keeping safe at the beach:

  • 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 Police
  • Don't forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some * sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

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