Launching the start of the surf life-saving season are (from left) Newcastle Permanent branch manager Deborah Maddox, Northern
Launching the start of the surf life-saving season are (from left) Newcastle Permanent branch manager Deborah Maddox, Northern

Life savers return to Ballina Shire beaches



WITH the weather warming up and more people keen for a swim, Ballina Shire life savers are now back on the beaches.

Surf Life Saving NSW, in partnership with Ballina Shire Council, will provide safe swimming areas as well as undertake rescues and first aid treatment and provide surf and beach safety advice.

Lifeguards contracted to the council, and a support operations fleet of rescue jet skis, duty officers, communication centres and the Ballina Jet Rescue Boat, will join volunteers from Far North Coast clubs in protecting local beaches.

"Our lifesaving services play an important part in ensuring the northern NSW coast remains one of Australia's top summer destinations," Stephen Leahy, Northern NSW lifeguard co-ordinator, said.

"The briefings that we have had so far indicate that we are in for a very warm summer.

"We're looking forward to a busy summer and the community can assist us in ensuring they enjoy our beaches in safety."

Mr Leahy asked beach-goers to make sure they only swam at patrolled beaches, and stayed between the red and yellow flags which marked the safe swimming locations.

"Surf lifesavers and lifeguards are there to make sure you stay safe but it so important that people share the responsibility by not taking silly risks," he said.

Far North Coast lifesavers recently attended their annual branch conference held at Ballina, which focused on the forthcoming season and featured discussions on how they can educate the public and be more efficient in water safety.

Representatives from all clubs attended and will now put into practice what they learnt from the conference. Beach patrols will continue until the end of the autumn school holidays next year.


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