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Volunteer lifeguard patrols return to Sunshine Coast beaches

Volunteer lifeguard patrols return to Sunshine Coast beaches
September 22, 2021

With the volunteer lifeguard patrol season having recommenced as of the weekend on the region’s beaches, Sunshine Coast Council has advised that is had injected a record $5.7 million into lifeguard services this financial year.

With the lifeguard patrol season, which runs from September to May, now underway, in line with the start of the September school holidays, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Council was firmly committed to continuing its support to lifeguard services across the region.

Mayor Jamieson advised “in January alone more than 1.2 million people visited our Sunshine Coast beaches, and lifeguards performed 143 rescues and 770 first-aid actions.

“Our beaches are one of the most popular areas in our region, which reinforces why it is crucial we support the invaluable services provided by our lifeguards so that everyone can enjoy a safe experience.

“We have more than 20 locations across our Sunshine Coast patrolled by highly skilled lifeguards and lifesavers throughout the season.

“The message is simple. Play it safe and swim between the red and yellow flags every time you go to the beach.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast Regional Operations Manager Aaron Purchase urged people to check beach conditions before going for a swim, noting “our volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards have had one of their most challenging seasons as domestic visitors flocked to local beaches due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“We have seen a significant increase in people getting into trouble at our beaches.

“Alarmingly, the majority of rescues and drownings have been outside flagged areas or patrol hours.

“We may think we know the ocean but the safest place for anyone to swim is between the red and yellow flags during patrol hours.

“We are expecting our beaches to be absolutely packed again this summer, so please help us by following surf lifesavers and lifeguards’ advice.”

Sunshine Coast Council is also working with local Surf Life Saving Clubs and the Compass Institute to make Sunshine Coast beaches more accessible and inclusive.

The Sunshine Coast's patrolled areas include:

Images: A volunteer lifeguard keeps a watchful eye over beachgoers at Bokarina Beach (top), equipment used by Surf Life Saving Queensland when patrolling the region’s beaches (middle) and the Sunshine Coast's patrolled areas (below).

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4th May 2021 - Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguards Association conference to explore reversing rising summer drowning toll

10th April 2021 - Australian Surf Life Saving Championships ready for Sunshine Coast return

25th March 2021 - Surf Life Saving Queensland receive $36 million funding commitment

2nd September 2020 - $5.2 million investment ensures safety across Sunshine Coast beaches

14th July 2020 - Sunshine Coast expands lifeguard services to boost beach safety

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4th December 2019 - Surf Life Saving Queensland receives funding boost for surf safety

1st May 2017 - Sunshine Coast beach introduces water access for people with disabilities

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