Stay safe this long weekend – Wollongong

The surf forecast for this long weekend is looking a little rougher. Wollongong City Council Lifeguard, Pete Orchard recommends that people take extra care when at the beach this long weekend.

“We’ve looked at the weather and surf forecast and it’s looking like the swell will be predominately from the North East, swinging South East on Saturday. Our message to everyone heading to the beach is to take extra care and follow the directions of the Lifeguards and Surf Life Saving volunteers on duty,” Pete said.

“This long weekend, we will continue to monitor the conditions and if need be, we’ll temporarily close beaches where surf conditions get too rough. Also don’t forget we have nine patrolled saltwater and freshwater pools and nine unpatrolled rock pools along our coast. They’re all great swimming spots to try out.”

The message from Council is always make sure Lifeguards or Surf Life Saving Volunteers are on duty before entering the water. You can tell this by looking for the red and yellow flags.

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said he was proud of the work Council Lifeguards were doing to keep people safe at the beach.

“I would like to personally acknowledge the work our Lifeguards and Volunteer Surf Life Savers are doing to keep our community safe. Theirs is an exceptionally challenging job, sometimes made harder by people doing the wrong thing or not knowing or understanding how dangerous the beach can be,” Mr Doyle said.

“Here in Wollongong, even with the wet summer weather, we’ve seen more than 489,900 people visit our 17 patrolled beaches between November 2023 and mid-January 2024. During this same time, our Lifeguards have advised 21,918 people that they were acting in a way that was putting them at risk and performed 230 beach rescues.

‘It’s important that everyone follows the rules when visiting the beach, especially this long weekend. Our Lifeguards need the support of all beachgoers. So please, swim only between the red and yellow flags and follow the direction of the Lifeguards and life savers on duty.

“It’s been an especially challenging summer across NSW, with a number of people getting into trouble, and some, sadly losing their lives. It’s so important that we all watch out for each other and be aware that surf conditions can change rapidly.

“Thank you to all of our Lifeguards and to the Surf Life Saving volunteers for their incredible service to our community. On behalf of everyone who has enjoyed our beaches this summer, we appreciate your support and hard work.”

Can you spot a rip?

Do you know what a rip at the beach looks like? No, really? Wollongong City Council is calling for everyone to think again before going into the water at unpatrolled beaches, or at spots far from the red and yellow flags.

Rip currents — more commonly known as rips — are strong currents of water flowing away from the shore. They’re one of the biggest hazards at our beaches. This is because they are tricky to spot and can appear suddenly.

/Public Release. View in full here.