Lifeguard rescues increase

Kiama Council

Summer Lifeguards - December 2022

The Kiama Council lifeguard season report(PDF, 934KB) shows an increase in rescues even though we had less beach-goers during the 2022-23 patrol season.

Council had a total of 31 casual lifeguards operating 405 patrol days from September 2022 to April 2023, across our 7 patrolled beaches

Our 3 surf lifesaving clubs at Kiama Downs, Kiama, and Gerringong provided 216 volunteer patrol days at their respective beaches.

We had a 15.6 per cent drop in beach visitors (260,000), due to the resumption of international travel.

However, Seven Mile Beach, which remains the most patronised, actually experienced a significant increase in visitors. Easts Beach also recorded an increase in use.

Despite the overall drop in beach attendance, our lifeguards had to perform more preventative actions (6,658) and rescues (116).

There was one death, after patrol hours, at the Blowhole Point rock pool.

Twelve rescues were conducted at South Bombo, a notorious black spot, with four people taken to hospital, despite the warning signs in place.

On a positive note, the installation of the Emergency Response Beacon (ERB) at South Bombo Beach (others were also installed at Blowhole Point and Kendalls Beach), proved invaluable for these rescues.

The ERB intercom system was used by members of the public, allowing a quick response from lifeguards at North Bombo Beach, and the deployment of rescue craft from Surf Beach and Kendalls Beach.

Our lifeguards were also able to resume their regular (pre-season) surf education awareness program (post-COVID) at our 5 primary schools in September.

This program teaches essential lessons regarding sun safety, water safety, rescue equipment and methods, first aid, recognising dangerous surf conditions and the necessary surf skills needed to deal with them.

Dog owners taking their animals onto local beaches also kept our lifeguards busy, making up the vast majority of the 755 breaches of regulations on our beaches during the season.

/Public Release. View in full here.