Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Professional Lifeguards say safety first at Australian beaches

Professional Lifeguards say safety first at Australian beaches
January 3, 2014

The Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA) has reminded beachgoers to continue to 'play it safe' at beaches so loved ones and friends can take home memories of enjoyment rather than an unwanted memory of tragedy that a beach related drowning can bring.

20 year professional beach lifeguard veteran and APOLA National Field Officer Greg Hackfath, who oversees beach safety on the NSW Coffs Coast, said that beach regulars and seasonal beach goers, be they swimmers, rock fishers, small boaters or surfers need to maintain respect the ocean and always plan for safety when out and about at beaches and at other open water locations.

Hackfath states "if people think safety first then a day at the beach can be great fun."

APOLA Media spokesperson and senior professional ocean lifeguard at Australia's busiest beach, Bondi, Terry McDermott, says that with January temperatures expected to be above average people will flock to beaches but everyone must remember to properly check on what the actual water and wave conditions are like.

"Be it cool and overcast, or hot and sunny, people should always think carefully about where they should swim, surf, fish or paddle. When that sun starts to shine and you want to gain relief from the summer heat you need to make good decisions about where to go in at our beautiful beaches..

"Always be guided by the lifeguards, read the beach signs and take time to check it out before you go out," said Mr McDermott who also has spent over 30 years doing radio reporting on weather along our east coast in concert with professional lifeguarding."

Hackfath, the Coffs Harbour City Council Lifeguard Coordinator, concludes "the best swimming locations are at supervised locations known as the area between the red and yellow flags. Going to an unsupervised beach is not a good idea unless you are an experienced surfer. Know your limitations, learn how to read the conditions and never go in alone."

APOLA offER the following 'Top Six' Beach Swim tips:

1. Bathe and swim between the red and yellow flags which indicate the supervised swimming area: No flags = No Swim

2. Look for, read and obey water safety signs

3. Check water conditions and the water depth before bathing or swimming - never dive head first

4. Bathe and swim under supervision or swim with a mate - never go in alone

5. Never bathe and swim directly after eating or under the influence of drugs including alcohol

6. Learn how to recognise rips and keep clear of these areas - if caught in difficulty stay calm,

float with the current and call out HELP and wave an arm if help is nearby.

AND REMEMBER when out in the sun always SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SLURP and WRAP (slip on a shirt or rashie, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, drink water, and wear sunglasses).

APOLA is a non-profit professional association that is recognised as the peak professional association for Australian professional beach inspector ocean lifeguards. It promotes best practice in ocean water safety and beach management and coordinates professional ocean lifeguard activity in lifeguard training, community education, tourism support, public relations, regulation and risk management in consultation with councils and their professional lifeguards.

For more information go to





Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology



Established in 1994, Ceramic Solutions has excelled at the supply and installation of swimming pool tiles and equipment for the pool and leisure industry, with a focus on the needs of end-users. …

read more

Aquatics / Design / Surfaces / Venues


SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail



BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology


Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business