Lifesaving patrol season for 2020-21 begins at Victorian beaches

The red and yellow flags will be back on the beach around Port Phillip Bay from this weekend, marking the start of the lifesaving patrol season in Victoria for 2020-21.

Lifesaving patrols at coastal clubs will begin from Saturday 28 November.

Last season volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards in Victoria performed 475 rescues, attended 2339 first aid incidents and helped keep an estimated more than 2.34 million visitors to the state’s beaches safe.

LSV Lifesaving Services General Manager Liam Krige said a number of pre-season rescues at beaches this year highlighted the need for all Victorians to play it extra safe on the water.

“This week we presented Everyday Lifesaver awards to Nick Frisby and Ryan King, two 17-year-old lifesavers from Williamstown Swimming and Lifesaving Club who performed an off-duty rescue at Williamstown Beach in September that saved the lives of three boys,” Mr Krige said.

“We’ve seen about a half dozen similar rescues take place at beaches around the state in the lead up to the patrol season. It’s thanks to the immediate actions taken by off-duty lifesavers and members of the public that tragedy has been prevented for a number of Victorian families.”

Mr Krige said while the summer was likely to be a different one for Victorian beachgoers, the important water safety messages remained the same.

“Wherever possible, swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags, make sure to check the weather and conditions, read safety signs and always swim with a friend,” he said.

“If you haven’t been out in the water for a while, please take extra precautions and prepare and plan your day. All beaches, even bay beaches can be dangerous and have hidden dangers such as rips. Make sure to check the weather and conditions, use the beachsafe.org.au website to find patrolled beaches and always go swimming with a friend.

“We ask that all Victorians understand the current public health restrictions prior to heading out to beaches and inland waterways this summer and follow the guidelines – including making sure they wear a fitted mask, are practicing physical distancing and observing group size limits.”

“LSV has been working closely with the Victorian Government on improved safety arrangements at our beaches and waterways over the upcoming summer period, in line with recommendations for a COVIDSafe summer. We’re actively looking at options for expanded patrol areas and additional life savers patrolling, where safe to do so, and the potential for drones and other checks to ensure the safety of those using our waterways.”

For further information about how to stay safe on the water this summer, visit www.lsv.com.au/summersafety

For interviews/photos with local patrols, please email  LSV Media on media@lsv.com.au or call  03 9676 6970

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