Surf lifesavers have touched down at the Sunshine Coast Airport again this summer in a bid to educate and protect beachgoers about how to stay safe these holidays.
The safety initiative, which was trialled last summer, sees domestic and international passengers flying into the airport met by surf lifesavers in full patrol uniform and presented with vital information about where and how to swim safely this summer.
Thousands of locals and tourists alike are expected to filter through the airport over the coming months, and Surf Life Saving Queensland community awareness coordinator Michelle Jacobson said the program was a great way to help keep them safe.
“Through educational and awareness programs like this, the process of saving lives and protecting swimmers actually begins well before someone even sets foot onto a beach this summer,” Ms Jacobson said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to engage and communicate with potential beachgoers, educate them, and hopefully encourage them to make smart decisions about their personal safety on the beach and in the water.
“Programs like this are all about getting on the front foot and being proactive when it comes to beach and aquatic safety, and if we can do that, it will make the jobs of our lifesavers and lifeguards on the front-line all that easier,” she said.
From Monday 12 December, all passengers arriving at the airport during designated hours will receive a fold-out map listing every patrolled beach on the Sunshine Coast, along with a list of patrol hours and key safety information on rips, possible dangers, the meaning of beach flags, and warning signs.
The information flyers also contain basic surf safety messaging in 15 different languages including, amongst others, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, German, Russian, Korean and Arabic.
Last summer, SLSQ’s lifeguards and lifesavers watched over more than 4.76 million beachgoers and Ms Jacobson said they were expecting bumper crowds again over the coming months.
“The Sunshine Coast is obviously home to some of the most scenic and beautiful beaches in Australia and right across the world and, as always, we’re expecting plenty of visitors across the summer and holiday periods,” she said.
“While many Australians might take beach safety for granted, we need to remember that many international visitors arriving on the Sunshine Coast may be first-time visitors or may not have swum at a local beach before.
“While our lifesavers and lifeguards will be doing a great job out on the beach, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to introduce some of these tourists to the basics of beach safety and help them remember their trip to the Sunshine Coast for all of the right reasons.”