Surf Life Saving Queensland are urging swimmers not to be complacent this summer, after eleven people tragically drowned at Queensland beaches during the 2019/20 patrol season.
This statistic was revealed in SLSQ’s 2020 Coast Safe Report, which was released today to coincide with the launch of the 2020/21 volunteer patrol season.
The report revealed that Australians are at risk in the surf, with Australian residents representing 45% of the overall drowning tally.
Lifesavers and lifeguards performed 2,555 rescues, with 89% of those taking place outside the red and yellow flags.
Surprisingly, 80% of those rescued were Australian residents.
Men over the age of 50 have again been identified as an at-risk demographic, with 64% of drowning victims in that category.
Sunshine Coast Regional Operations Manager Aaron Purchase said the report’s findings served as a reminder to all beachgoers.
“The ocean does not discriminate, alarmingly it is Australians who are getting into the most trouble at our beaches,” Whimpey said.
“As Queenslanders and Australians, we think we know the ocean best but the safest place for anyone to swim and enjoy our beautiful beaches is between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches.
Mr Purchase said they were looking forward to providing an additional patrolled location at Bokarina Beach from tomorrow (19 September).
“Thanks to funding from the Sunshine Coast Council we have been able to provide a new lifeguard service at Bokarina Beach,” he said.
“This will ensure swimmer safety at the beach on weekends, school and public holidays from September to May.”