Council Lifeguard Patrols Start This Saturday
Thursday, 1 October 2009
As Port Macquarie-Hastings Council lifeguards prepare for the start of patrols this Saturday, senior lifeguards are calling on the community to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches this summer.
21 fulltime and casual lifeguards have been employed by Council to patrol local beaches from this Saturday 3rd October through until April next year.
The lifeguards will patrol Town Beach everyday from 9am till 4.30pm and Flynn's Beach Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm. Lighthouse Beach, Bonny Hills Beach and North Haven Beach will be patrolled during the school holidays between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Council's Senior Lifeguard, Tim Ferris said, "While our area has some of the most beautiful beaches along the coast, I cannot stress too much the importance of making sure people only swim between the flags and only at patrolled beaches.
"While last season we recorded more than 231,000 people enjoying our beaches, lifeguards were kept busy with 75 rescues and 1,278 preventative actions. Unfortunately we had a drowning at Rainbow Beach at Bonny Hills at a time when the beach wasn't patrolled.
"One thing that we will do this season is consider changing our operation hours in January to better cater for those people who want to take a swim late in the afternoon. We will monitor beach numbers before making a final decision," Mr Ferris said.
"Our lifeguards are a very experienced crew with many of them having been with Council for a number of seasons.
"If all beach users obey the directions of Council's lifeguards and surf lifesaving volunteers at all times and if people follow the rules and allow us to do our jobs, we will hopefully have a fatality free swimming season," Mr Ferris said.