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Can we repeat last year's beach record?

RED AND YELLOW: Surf lifesavers launch a jet ski at Nielson Park Beach ahead of the start of the season.
RED AND YELLOW: Surf lifesavers launch a jet ski at Nielson Park Beach ahead of the start of the season. Mike Knott BUN130917SURF1

THE red and yellow flags will be raised and the watchful eyes of our volunteer surf lifesavers will be scanning our beaches from Saturday.

This weekend marks the start of Surf Life Saving Queensland's 2017/18 patrol season.

Lifesavers will watch over beachgoers every weekend and on public holidays through to May next year.

They will provide extra manpower for SLSQ lifeguards, who will continue to patrol on weekdays and at selected locations on the weekend.

Last season proved to be a busy one, with lifesavers from Yeppoon down to Hervey Bay protecting more than 160,385 people.

During this time they combined to perform 7507 preventative actions to safeguard swimmers, treated 557 with first aid, and directly saved the lives of 25 beachgoers in the water.

Their collective efforts ensured there were zero drownings recorded on beaches across the Wide Bay and Capricorn regions.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan with Jamie Findlay and Craig Holden.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan with Jamie Findlay and Craig Holden. Mike Knott BUN130917SURF4

SLSQ regional operations manager Craig Holden welcomed volunteers back to the beach and reminded all beachgoers to protect themselves and swim between the flags this season.

"With the weather already warming up and school holidays about to kick off, we're expecting solid crowds over the next few weeks and months and, with that in mind, it's really important that people are looking out for each other and putting safety first at all times,” he said.

"The best way to protect yourself at the beach is to only swim at patrolled locations and only between the red and yellow flags.

"Each season, our volunteer surf lifesavers selflessly dedicate countless hours of their own time to protect and watch over thousand of people, and I'd like to welcome them back to the beach for another season of patrols,”

Visitors to Fraser Island are also being urged to exercise caution after a number of people developed Irukandji syndrome after receiving stings in the water last December and January.

While it remains unconfirmed exactly what type of marine stinger was involved in those incidents, Mr Holden said it was important for visitors to remain vigilant about their safety.

Topics:  beach lifeguards lifesavers surf life saving whatson



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