Sunshine Coast Council and Surf Life Saving Queensland today celebrated the launch of the new Bokarina Beach lifeguard tower which will be staffed by professional lifeguards to keep thousands of beachgoers safe this summer.
It comes as the official patrol season (September to May) kicks off tomorrow across the state in conjunction with the start of the September school holidays.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said council’s $5.5 million investment in lifeguard services this financial year again showed beach safety is a top priority for the region.
“More than 20 areas across the Sunshine Coast will be patrolled by highly skilled lifeguards as well as lifesavers throughout the season,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Incredibly, they performed 389 rescues, 4806 first aid treatments and provided 262,018 warnings to more than seven million visitors to our beaches last year.
“We have some of Australia’s most enviable and popular beaches and our council wants to ensure that everyone who comes to those beaches can enjoy a safe experience.
“So the important message to everyone going to the beach is stay safe this summer.”
SLSQ today released its 2020 Coast Safe Report and Sunshine Coast Regional Manager Aaron Purchase said an alarming trend had lifeguards worried.
“It found 89 per cent of all rescues across Queensland were performed outside of the red and yellow flags,” Mr Purchase said.
“Our message is very clear: you must swim between the red and yellow flags and check beach conditions before swimming.
“We’re preparing for one of our biggest seasons yet, particularly with people wanting to enjoy the outdoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Division 3 Councillor Peter Cox said the Bokarina Beach lifeguard tower would be patrolled on weekends, public holidays and Queensland school holidays from September to May.
“Patrols from this new tower will greatly improve lifeguard surveillance along this stretch of our coastline, while providing an additional flagged bathing area for beachgoers at peak times during the coming summer,” Cr Cox said.
“Bokarina Beach will be patrolled on weekdays during the September, Christmas and Easter school holidays.
“It’s essential that beachgoers make the effort to find the nearest flagged area when they want to go for a swim.”
Nearby Dicky Beach is patrolled 365 days a year while Buddina Beach will be patrolled every day of the week from September to May.
Council’s investment in lifeguard services this year will also see a lifeguard outpost service at Maroochy River mouth during September, Christmas and the Easter school holidays.
Always swim between the red and yellow flags;
Check beach conditions before swimming;
Learn beach safety rules regarding rips, stingers and sun safety.
For detailed patrol times and locations please visit the Beach Safe website.
Sunshine Coast patrolled areas include:
Level 1 – Major location
Kings Beach, Dicky Beach, Mooloolaba Main and Spit, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Twin Waters, Mudjimba, Discovery Beach and Coolum
Level 2 – Seasonal service
Seven days a week between September to May, plus weekends, school and public holidays during winter.
Bulcock, Marcoola, Buddina/Kawana, Coolum North
Level 3 – Weekend service
Weekends, school and public holidays all year.
Level 4 – Minimal seasonal service
Weekends, school and public holidays from September to May.
Kings Beach Pool, Boardwalk, Bokarina and Wurtulla
Level 5 – Holiday service only
School holidays between September to May.
Golden Beach and Yaroomba.
Image: Division 3 Councillor Peter Cox, SLSQ Regional Manager Aaron Purchase and Mayor Mark Jamieson.