SLSQ urges caution while cooling off in the surf

As the mercury across the state continues to soar, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has urged swimmers looking to cool off in the water this weekend to exercise caution and put safety first.

With temperatures anticipated to reach mid- to high-30Cs this weekend, volunteer surf lifesavers across the state are bracing for huge crowds of people looking to beat the heat on the beach.

With that in mind, SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill has encouraged all beachgoers to take care and swim at patrolled locations only.

“The beach is always a great place to cool down and, given this current weather, we’re certainly bracing for huge crowds this weekend,” Mr Hill said.

“Surf lifesavers will be out in force to watch over and protect swimmers and it’s really important that people help out by following their advice, exercising caution while in the surf and, of course, staying between the red and yellow flags.

“And don’t forget to stay well-hydrated and slip, slop, slap throughout the day as well,” he said.

Mr Hill also expects many Queenslanders to make use of other waterways across the state, including dams and rivers.

“While dams and rivers may also be popular options to cool off, it’s important to remember that they are not patrolled by surf lifesavers or lifeguards so it’s even more important for swimmers use some common sense when it comes to looking after themselves and others,” he said.

“Always stick to any designated swimming areas, never swim alone, and be sure to look out for your mates while in the water.

“Be mindful of your surroundings and remember that still water can still be dangerous, particularly if there are any objects floating just beneath the surface,” Mr Hill said.

SLSQ is encouraging swimmers this weekend to follow these simple guidelines.

Beach safety tips:

• Swim between the red and yellow flags

• Look for, and follow, the advice of safety signs

• Ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for advice

• Always swim with a friend where possible

• If you find yourself in trouble, don’t panic. Stick your hand up for help.

• Don’t swim at unpatrolled beaches

• Don’t swim at night or after consuming alcohol

Dam, rivers and other waterways:

• Always swim in designated swimming areas, where applicable

• Never swim alone and keep a close eye on family and friends

• Never dive into water where you can’t see the bottom

• Still water can still be dangerous – monitor conditions and be aware there could be submerged obstacles

• Do not swim after drinking alcohol

• Use common sense and comply with on-site safety signage

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