'If we can't see you, we can't save you'
WITH school holidays under way and the weather warming up, surf lifesavers have urged beachgoers to take care on the Far North Coast.
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer Jimmy Keough said volunteer crews and paid lifeguards had kicked off patrols on Saturday, September 29.
Mr Keough said Surf Life Saving teams would remain on duty on weekends and public holidays until the end of April.
Lifeguards will work through the school holidays, and will return for the beginning of the Christmas school break.
Despite growing crowds on the region's beaches, Mr Keough said there had been just one incident on the Far North Coast so far.
He said two people were rescued after their boat capsized on the bar of the Tweed River on Saturday.
"Fortunately, all persons made it back to shore safely," he said.
"There's been a couple of minor rescues performed up and down the coast."
Tragically, Mr Keough said the two fatalities in NSW since the season began both involved swimmers outside of flagged areas.
While it's an "enjoyable time" to be on the coast, Mr Keough stressed it was vital for beachgoers to help prevent emergencies in the water.
"The flags are there for a reason," he said.
"If we can't see you, we can't save you."
He also urged people to be wary of run-out tides and avoid swimming after consuming drugs or alcohol.
Mr Keough said anyone interested in joining Surf Life Saving should contact their local club.
"Any assistance any clubs can get from any persons will help with the vital service of lifesaving," he said.
In the case of an emergency, phone Triple 0.
For details on volunteer and lifeguard patrols on all beaches, along with warnings about hazardous conditions, bluebottles and the like, visit beachsafe.org.au.