Sunshine Coast Council has injected a record $5.7 million into lifeguard services this financial year to ensure our residents and visitors are kept safe across our region’s beaches.
It comes as the official volunteer patrol season (September to May) kicks off this Saturday, September 18, in line with the start of the September school holidays.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said council was firmly committed to continuing its support to lifeguard services across the region.
“In January alone more than 1.2 million people visited our Sunshine Coast beaches, and lifeguards performed 143 rescues and 770 first-aid actions,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our beaches are one of the most popular areas in our region, which reinforces why it is crucial we support the invaluable services provided by our lifeguards so that everyone can enjoy a safe experience.
“We have more than 20 locations across our Sunshine Coast patrolled by highly skilled lifeguards and lifesavers throughout the season.
“The message is simple. Play it safe and swim between the red and yellow flags every time you go to the beach.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast Regional Operations Manager Aaron Purchase urged people to check beach conditions before going for a swim.
“Our volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards have had one of their most challenging seasons as domestic visitors flocked to local beaches due to COVID-19 travel restrictions,” Mr Purchase said.
“We have seen a significant increase in people getting into trouble at our beaches.
“Alarmingly, the majority of rescues and drownings have been outside flagged areas or patrol hours.
“We may think we know the ocean but the safest place for anyone to swim is between the red and yellow flags during patrol hours.
“We are expecting our beaches to be absolutely packed again this summer, so please help us by following surf lifesavers and lifeguards’ advice.”