Beachgoers are being urged to exercise caution in the water these school holidays, with 123 swimmers rescued across South East Queensland over the Easter long weekend.
Surf Life Saving Queensland lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor said lifeguards and surf lifesavers would be on high alert again for the remainder of the school holidays.
“More than anything, we’re asking beachgoers to think about their personal safety and swim only between the red and yellow flags, which are patrolled by lifesavers and lifeguards throughout the day,” Ms Lawlor said.
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“Easter’s normally a really busy time on the beach, with plenty of people looking to make the most of the warmer weather while it lasts.”
Lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force across the Easter holiday period, and SLSQ has boosted its services to offer even greater protection to beachgoers.
The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service will perform daily aerial patrols on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, with additional roving and surveillance patrols also rostered on at high-risk locations across the state.
In addition, surf lifesavers will remain on standby around the clock to assist with any after-hours or emergency situations.
Ms Lawlor said that conditions would be closely monitored, with beaches closed if required.
“The decision to close a beach is one that’s made in the interests of public safety and, if that’s the case, we really urge members of the public to respect that decision and steer clear of the water,” she said.
“Just one lapse of judgement could have fatal consequences and, at the end of the day, it’s simply not worth the risk when it comes to your personal safety.
“Always remember, if lifesavers can’t see you they can’t save you,” she said.
Ms Lawlor encouraged beach visitors to follow these simple guidelines to help protect themselves these holidays:
• Always swim between the red and yellow flags
• Read and follow the safety signs
• If you’re unsure of the conditions, ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for advice before entering the water
• Always swim with a friend where possible
• If you find yourself in trouble, stick your hand up to attract the attention of lifesavers
• Never swim at night or at unpatrolled locations
• Never swim under the influence of alcohol
• Keep a close eye on children, and always keep them within arm’s reach in the water