Lifesavers extend patrols and call for safety first these holidays

As the school holidays officially kick off this weekend, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is extending and boosting services on the Sunshine Coast and renewing calls for beachgoers to put safety first this summer.

From this Saturday onwards, SLSQ’s lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers will be increasing their regular patrol hours on the Sunshine Coast to cope with an anticipated influx in beachgoers over the holiday period, with the red and yellow flags at most beaches set to be raised from 7:00am to 6:00pm on all weekends and public holidays through to Australia Day.

In addition, four additional roving jet ski patrols will be introduced on weekdays to help keep beachgoers safe at Noosa, Marcoola, Mooloolaba and Kings Beaches.

Meanwhile, SLSQ’s 24/7 emergency response groups will also be on call to assist around the clock.

SLSQ Sunshine Coast regional manager Aaron Purchase urged beachgoers to take extra care in and around the water over the summer months.

“Beaches are obviously going to be getting busier and busier as the holidays get into full swing over the coming weeks, but it’s still really important that people make the effort to only swim at patrolled locations and between the red and yellow flags,” he said.

“We want people to enjoy the beach these holidays but, more importantly, we want them to get home safely at the end of the day.

“If you’re unsure about the conditions, have a chat to the lifeguards or lifesavers on duty before entering the water,” he said.

Mr Purchase also called on parents to make surf safety a family affair this summer, saying lifesavers were continuing to see a number of unsupervised children being left alone on Sunshine Coast beaches.

“Unfortunately, we’re continuing to see a lot of situations where parents will drop their young kids off at the beach for the day and then drive off and leave them to their own devices,” Mr Purchase said.

“Surf lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force this summer to watch over and protect swimmers in the flagged areas, and we really encourage all parents and family members to adopt the same approach and look out for each other, particularly when it comes to young children.

“Even if it looks calm on the surface, the ocean can be a dangerous and unpredictable place at times, and having an extra set of eyes could make all the difference.

“It’s really important that parents not only set a good example for their kids by swimming between the red and yellow flags this summer, but also hang around and supervise any of their young children both in and out of the water,” he said.

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