Volunteer surf lifesavers Julie Davis and Jamie Findlay at Nielson Park Beach.
Volunteer surf lifesavers Julie Davis and Jamie Findlay at Nielson Park Beach. Mike Knott

Patrolled surf season begins

THE red and yellow flags will once again be dusted off and planted into the sand, as volunteer surf lifesavers return to protect the region's beaches today.

Surf lifesavers and lifeguards will watch over Nielson Park, Moore Park, Elliott Head and Agnes Water beaches every day over the September school holidays.

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden said the region's beaches would then be patrolled on weekends and public holidays until the May long weekend next year.

Despite the weather forecast for this weekend not looking the best, Mr Holden said the start to the lifesaving season should still be smooth.

“Sunday is going to be a wet day, but it should hold out Saturday,” he said.

“Swimmers may get some rain falling on them, but the ocean conditions should be quite good. We are not expecting rough or dangerous conditions.”

Adding an extra dimension to their services this year, SLSQ has also rolled out a new, formalised agreement with other emergency services that means lifesavers would be on 24-hour emergency call where their skills could be used.

The expanded services will see surf clubs band with police, SES and ambulance officers in the event of an emergency, in an effort to reduce response times.

Mr Holden said a designated response group had been formed and would be contactable in situations like missing person searches, flood rescues and other coastal emergencies, where members' skills and experience could help.

“In the past they would call the surf club or someone they knew, but now we have designated response groups and a single contact number,” he said.

“It's just a way of formalising it.”

Safety tips

  • Swim between the flags
  • Swim on patrolled beaches
  • Only swim during patrol hours

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