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$5.2 million investment ensures safety across Sunshine Coast beaches
An annual report - Australian Lifeguard Service Beach Safety Report 2019-20 Year in Review - has revealed the impact of Sunshine Coast Council’s $5.2 million annual investment in local beach safety highlighting that Surf Life Saving Queensland lifeguards watched over more than seven million visitors to the Sunshine Coast’s patrolled beaches, saving nearly 400 lives and carrying out 262,018 warnings to beachgoers.
Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said he was proud to see 20 areas across the Coast were patrolled last year, from Golden Beach in the south to Coolum Beach in the north. And notes “our lifeguards and lifesavers are our unsung water heroes who help keep our beaches safe for everyone.
“The 2019/20 season included two lifeguards at all times when the Boardwalk Beach and Yaroomba Beach towers were patrolled, plus extra lifeguards during the peak patrol season between September and May at Marcoola, Discovery, Twin Waters and Mudjimba.
“The September school holidays are just around the corner, and I’m pleased to share this year council has allocated an extra $324,000 which includes the start of the new Bokarina Beach lifeguard service, bringing council’s investment in lifeguard services for the region for 2020/21 to $5.5 million.
“This will be patrolled on weekends, public holidays and Queensland school holidays from September to May.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Supervisor Rhys Drury said last year was a busy one for the red and yellow army consisting of 107 lifeguards in the region.
Drury adds “being a lifeguard may seem like a dream job to many, but it’s also one we take very seriously because beach safety awareness is a major priority for us.
“With Spring just around the corner we’re reminding beachgoers to please ensure they make responsible choices while they enjoy the beach.”
Sunshine Coast Lifeguard William Moore, of Coolum, has spent 32 years of his life patrolling Australian beaches, and has been part of the local contingent for the past 24 years.
Moore highlighted that “when you reunite kids with their parents it’s a pretty special feeling. You know someone has got to go home to their loved ones and if you weren’t there, it may not have happened.”
Lifeguard services are provided by Surf Life Saving Queensland and funded by Sunshine Coast Council.
People can view patrol times and locations at the Beachsafe website. Patrol times will vary depending on the season and beach.
Image: Surf Life Saving Queensland lifeguards raise the red and yellow flags at Dicky Beach.
14th July 2020 - Sunshine Coast expands lifeguard services to boost beach safety
7th January 2020 - Yeppoon Lagoon Lifeguard Team prevents Christmas Day tragedy
4th December 2019 - Surf Life Saving Queensland receives funding boost for surf safety
28th February 2019 - US-based aquatic safety consultants award Wet’n'Wild Sydney lifeguards
11th January 2018 - New career pathway for lifeguards from mixed cultural backgrounds
24th December 2017 - Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association issues beach safety reminder
19th December 2017 - Gold Coast Tourism recognises Lifeguard Warren Young with Honorary Life Member Award
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