Lifesavers and lifeguards have returned to Victorian beaches as the 2019/20 patrol season kicks off, with the red and yellow flags returning to locations across the state, from Mildura in the north, Portland in the west and Mallacoota in the east.
Full Service Patrols officially began on Saturday 30 November 2019, with these set to run across the bay clubs, surf clubs and at Mildura over the peak summer period until Easter.
LSV Manager Lifesaving Operations Liam Krige said this season will see the introduction of new and increased operational services across Victoria that will support the patrols.
“Our new twin-engine, Airbus H135 helicopter will commence its over land and water winch capability which will increase our search and rescue service, and we’ll see the implementation of a new drone call-out service for surveillance and monitoring.
“In addition to the new air services, LSV will also expand its rescue water craft (jet ski) patrol services from six to eight sites.
“The State Lifesaving Operations Centre also saw a large-scale renovation in preparation for the season, providing the operators with new equipment which will allow them to increase their support to lifesavers and lifeguards throughout the busy summer period.”
While these services help to improve surveillance and rescue capability, Mr Krige urges the public to think about their personal safety and know their limits when visiting the beach and around waterways.
“We want to remind people to be aware and prepared for the conditions, read safety signs and understand the dangers, don’t swim while intoxicated and keep an eye on friends, family and children around water.
“Most importantly, only swim between the red and yellow flags because if our lifesavers and lifeguards can’t see you, they can’t save you,” said Mr Krige.
Patrols will operate on weekends and public holidays until Easter, with a number of locations also operating seven days a week across the peak period, Boxing Day to Australia Day. See here for patrol dates and locations.
For the latest information on a particular location, head to www.beachsafe.org.au or download the BeachSafe App to your device.