As temperatures soar across the state, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has urged swimmers looking to cool off in the water this weekend to exercise caution and put safety first at all times.
Last year more than 100,000 people flocked to the beach on the first weekend of summer, and surf lifesavers and lifeguards are once again bracing for huge crowds of people looking to beat the heat.
With that in mind, SLSQ coastal safety officer Chantel Fife encouraged beachgoers to exercise caution, common sense, and to swim only at patrolled locations.
“The beach is always a popular place to cool down and, given this current weather, we’re bracing for huge crowds over the weekend,” Mrs Fife said.
“Surf lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force to watch over and protect swimmers, and we’re asking everyone to help out by following their advice, exercising caution while in the water and, of course, staying between the red and yellow flags.
“Even if the beaches are crowded, it’s really important to stay between the flags in the interests of safety for all. And don’t forget to stay well-hydrated and slip, slop, slap throughout the day to protect yourself from the sun,” she said.
With some storms forecast across South East Queensland as well, Mrs Fife also encouraged beachgoers to be careful in the event of lightning.
“Lifesavers and lifeguards will move to close their beach if an electrical storm gets too close and poses a risk to public safety,” she said.
“If that’s the case, we’d strongly urge everyone to immediately leave the beach and seek shelter.”
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; and
• Stay hydrated and slip, slop and slap to protect yourself from the heat.