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Queensland surf lifesavers return to the beach for volunteer patrol season

Thousands of volunteer surf lifesavers will return to Queensland beaches from this Saturday (17 September) as SLSQ kicks off its 2016/17 volunteer patrol season.

The season launch will see local lifesavers from Forrest Beach down to Rainbow Bay join their North Queensland comrades, who are already in season, in raising the red and yellow flags every weekend and public holiday until May 2017.

Meanwhile, paid lifeguards will continue to patrol on weekdays and at selected locations on the weekend.

Last season proved to be a busy one for Queensland’s army of volunteer surf lifesavers, who combined to perform 110,288 preventative actions, 4,611first aid treatments and directly rescue 2124 swimmers in distress.

The official start of the 2016/17 season coincides with the launch of SLSQ’s 2016 Coast Safe Report, which identifies a number of blackspots around the state.

With that in mind, SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill ESM urged swimmers to put safety first and look out for their friends and family this summer.

“With the weather warming up, it’s obviously a great time of the year to be heading back to the beach for a swim, but it’s really important that people use some common sense in the water and think about their own personal safety; just one silly mistake could have long-lasting and even fatal consequences,” he said.

“Our volunteer surf lifesavers performed a remarkable job last season, at times in quite testing and challenging conditions.

“Each year, Queensland’s volunteer surf lifesavers selflessly dedicate countless hours of their own time to watch over and protect complete strangers on the beach, and I’d like to welcome them back to the beach for another season of patrols,” he said.

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