A terrible spike in fatalities across Queensland’s coastline this year has prompted Surf Life Saving Queensland to roll out a raft of expanded services on Gold Coast beaches this summer.
The coast will see unprecedented coverage over the festive season and into the new year as lifesavers desperately work to avoid tragedy in the water.
From tomorrow, SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers will be fielding extended patrols, with the red and yellow flags to be raised from 7:00am to 6:00pm on all weekends and public holidays.
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While Gold Coast beaches have been drowning-free for the past two years, SLSQ lifesaving services coordinator Nathan Fife said the significant increase in fatalities across Queensland highlighted the need to put safety first this summer.
“Fortunately we haven’t had a drowning on Gold Coast beaches for a number of years now, but there have been nine across Queensland in the past five months alone, which is certainly concerning,” he said.
“Unfortunately, these have largely occurred at unpatrolled beaches or outside of designated patrol times.
“It’s a heartbreaking reminder that tragedies can and do occur if beachgoers aren’t putting safety first at all times in and around the water.”
In addition to extended patrol hours, SLSQ will also be rolling out a number of other key initiatives including additional jet ski patrols at high-risk blackspots and increased Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter patrols.
Daily dawn patrols will also continue to operate on the Gold Coast from 4:30am and SLSQ lifeguards will return to the Southport Broadwater, with patrols each day from 7am to 6pm.