With the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecasting heatwave conditions for south east Australia, surf lifesavers are bracing for a surge in coastal visitations as Australians head to the beach to seek relief.
Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is urging all beach users not to be complacent around the water as they head to the country’s iconic beaches to cool off.
The summer period has already seen a number of drowning deaths, with at least 23 coastal drowning deaths recorded since 1 December. This is significantly above the 14-year average of 16.
Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Adam Weir, said the ocean provides a great way for people to escape the heat, but to remember to stay safe.
“This summer has already seen massive numbers of people visiting the beaches and with forecast heatwave conditions across key major cities we are anticipating the number of people visiting the beach to surge towards the end of the school holiday period’, said Weir.
“We are seeking the support of all beach goers to help surf lifesavers and lifeguards by swimming at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags and understanding their own limitations.’
The warning comes on the back of SLSAs launch of its summer safety campaign, the ‘Think Line’.
“We want anyone visiting the beach to Stop, Look and Plan. Simply take a few moments to just check where you are, check if there rips, look for other hazards such as large waves or rocks, and have a plan.’ said Mr Weir.
“We are appealing for people to find a patrolled beach that is supervised by surf lifesavers or lifeguards. By simply stopping to take two to three minutes to identify any dangers and find a patrolled beach, it could save your life.’
SLSA is also reminding beachgoers to consider their own health and wellbeing. Sun burn and dehydration can turn a wonderful day at the beach into a painful one.
Tips For Beating The Heat
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Avoid the diuretic effects of alcohol
- Bring a long sleeve shirt to cover up if spending time in the sun
- Stay out of direct sunlight where possible during the hottest parts of the day
- Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply regularly
- Know the warning signs of heat stress (excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, nausea etc)
- Seek medical attention from lifesavers or lifeguards if feeling unwell
- Remember SLIP on some protective clothing, SLOP on some sunscreen, SLAP on a hat, SLIDE on a pair of sunglasses, SEEK some shade, and SIP on lots of water
Surf Life Saving Australia urges all heading to the beach to consider the following:
- Where possible, swim at a patrolled beach, between the red and yellow flags
- Obey the safety signs at the beach
- Learn how to identify a rip current and look for rip currents before deciding where to swim
- If you’re not sure, ask a lifesaver or lifeguard about the beach conditions
- Wear a lifejacket while boating, rock fishing or paddling
- Don’t go into or on the ocean during severe weather warnings
- Take personal responsibility, think twice and assess your safety before entering the water
- Supervise children at all times in, on and around water.
For the latest safety information, including patrolled beach locations, visit beachsafe.org.au