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Beachgoers encouraged to look out for their mates this Australia Day

  • SLSQ calls for safety this Australia Day
  • New lifesaving tool deployed to South Stradbroke Island

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is calling on anyone heading to the beach this Australia Day to play it safe, ditch the drink, and look out for their mates.

SLSQ Gold Coast coordinator Nathan Fife said lifesavers would be out in force across the long weekend, but encouraged beachgoers play their part too.

“We obviously want people to have a great time on the beach this weekend, but we also want to make sure everyone makes it home safely at the end of the day,” he said.

“If you’re going for a swim, please stick to patrolled areas only and stay between the red and yellow flags at all times.

“Swim with a buddy or some friends where possible, and look out for each other while in the water.

“And we strongly urge anyone who’s had a few drinks to avoid swimming at the beach, or swimming anywhere for that matter – we can’t stress enough how dangerous it is to enter the water while under the influence,” he said.

Australia Day is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year on Queensland beaches, with surf lifesavers and lifeguards watching over almost 200,000 beachgoers and performing 63 rescues on the public holiday last year.

SLSQ will also have an additional lifesaving weapon up its sleeve from this weekend onwards, following the deployment of a mobile emergency response beacon and camera on South Stradbroke Island.

Mr Fife said the beacon, placed roughly 300 metres north of the Seaway, can be activated around-the-clock to immediately alert surf lifesavers of any incidents or emergencies requiring urgent attention.

“There have been a number of incidents and near drownings around that area in recent years, particularly involving jet skiers and surfers, and this is a way to help us boost protection,” he said.

“If there’s an incident, or if someone requires urgent attention, you can press a button to alert us immediately and from there we can task our assets to assist, be it a jet ski or the helicopter.

“We can also be more proactive in terms of monitoring that particular area through the attached coastal camera,” he said.

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