The red and yellow flags were once again raised at 57 patrolled beaches on the weekend, as full lifesaving patrols returned for the 2017/18 summer season across the state.
Thousands of volunteer lifesavers will be keeping watch on beachgoers at our surf beaches, joining the bay beaches – where patrols have been operating since mid-November, and will continue until the season ends at Easter.
Last season our volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards performed 519 rescues, attended 1655 first aid incidents and helped keep more than 2.4 million visitors to Victorian beaches safe. This year, volunteers are more equipped than ever before, thanks to the roll out of iPads for both training and lifesaving services, made possible through the State Government’s Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grant.
Life Saving Victoria Lifesaving Operations Manager Greg Scott said he expects another busy summer on our beaches, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting daytime temperatures warmer than average across the state over summer.
“It’s so important that people realise just how dangerous beaches can be – even when the weather is nice, so we always encourage the public to check weather reports before heading out on the water,” says Mr Scott, “as well as the VicEmergency website or app for real time warnings and beach safety information.”
He said it’s important to know how to identify and avoid rip currents as they can occur at all beaches, even in bays.
Volunteer lifesavers provide patrols on weekends and most public holidays over the summer season and additional services are provided at unpatrolled locations and midweek by employed lifeguards during the peak summer period.
Information about patrolled beach locations and times is available at www.beachsafe.org.au.