Festive spirit alive on beaches
AS MANY families settled in for a quiet Christmas Day at home yesterday, the Davis family was putting on their red and yellow surf lifesaving uniforms and heading to the beach to keep others safe.
The family of five were among a group of Bundaberg volunteers who took time out of their Christmas Day to take care of others.
"We've been doing this for about four or five years," John Davis said.
"It's sort of become a bit of a tradition."
Mr Davis, his wife Julie and their three kids Benjamin, 17, Matthew, 15, and Sandi, 12, regularly patrol the beach as members of the Moore Park Surf Life Saving Club.
Yesterday John, Julie, Matthew and Sandi were patrolling at Moore Park while Benjamin was busy with lifeguard duties at Oaks Beach.
"We make the most of it," Mrs Davis said. "My parents came down and we all had breakfast together."
Mrs Davis said the water-loving family would have been heading to the beach for Christmas regardless.
"We'd be here anyway, so we might as well patrol while we're here," she said.
"The kids usually get presents to use in the water."
The family woke up early and opened their presents before hitting the beach.
"Then we all finish at 1pm and go home and have lunch together," she said.
The sunny weather made for a perfect day at the beach, but Mr Davis said the number of swimmers was down from last year.
"This is usually our busiest day. We probably had about 30-50 in the water at any time last year," he said.
"Today has been a bit quieter. I think we had 16 in the water at one point."
The strong wind, swell and tides saw the beach at Elliott Heads closed to swimmers just before 9am yesterday.
"It was closed for about an hour," lifesaver David Merefield said.
"The water was over the top of the rock wall and breaking over the dunes.
"It was a bit rough."