Lifesavers signing off

SEE YOU IN SPRING: Surf Lifesaver Chris Steffan looks over Kelly’s Beach on his last patrol of the season.
SEE YOU IN SPRING: Surf Lifesaver Chris Steffan looks over Kelly’s Beach on his last patrol of the season. Scottie Simmonds BUNSUR

THE region's beaches are set to become a lot quieter with the winter chill marking the end of the surf lifesaving season.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden said Monday would mark the last day of patrols on Bundaberg's beaches for about four months.

"There will be no beaches being patrolled until September," he said.

"The weather is getting a lot cooler and beach visitations have started to drop off in the last month or two."

Mr Holden said the season had been a good one in the Bundaberg region, with plenty of visitors flocking to the beaches.

"We've had relatively good weather for the majority of the season, with no floods or cyclones this time," he said.

"I'm pretty confident the visitor levels will be up on last year across all the beaches."

Mr Holden said there were two particularly busy days at the beach - Australia Day and Boxing Day.

"We had some huge numbers across the Christmas holidays," Mr Holden said.

"Australia Day is fast becoming one of the most popular days on the beach.

"And Boxing Day has traditionally been a busy one."

Mr Holden said the increased visitor numbers had also brought on an increase in rescues.

"The rescue numbers are up, which is a bit of a surprise," he said.

"Eight people were pulled out of the Elliott River mouth on New Year's Day.

"Having to pull eight people out in the one day is unheard of."

Mr Holden said there was an also an incident at Nielson Park Beach when three people had to be rescued.

"So we've had a couple of incidents where we rescued more than one person at a time," he said.

Mr Holden said while he did not have exact figures, he believed the Bundaberg region clubs had made about 30 rescues this season, with 88 across the Wide Bay region.

"A lot have only been fairly minor rescues, but they all could turn into potential drownings," he said.

Mr Holden said overall, he had been impressed with the behaviour of beach-goers throughout the season, with the exception of people drinking alcohol on the beaches on Australia Day.

"The important thing is we've had no deaths on our local beaches," he said.

About 200 volunteer lifesavers and 25 life guards patrol Bundaberg's beaches.

"They look forward to a bit of a break," Mr Holden said.

"It's only four months but it's enough to recharge."

 

Fast facts

  • Seven patrolled beaches in Bundaberg and Agnes Water
  • About 30 rescues this season in Bundaberg and 88 across Wide Bay Capricorn

Topics:  lifeguards, season, surf life saving, winter



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