The volunteer surf life saving season has officially begun in Queensland, and there’s a clear goal in mind for this summer.
The red and yellow flags are back up on 57 beaches from Rainbow Bay all the way north to Forest Beach.
Lifesavers are pleading with beachgoers to follow the rules while in the water, determined to reduce the number of fatalities around the state.
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Over the 2020/21 patrol season, 20 people tragically drowned according to the 2021 Coast Safe Report.
Surf Life Saving Queensland CEO Dave Whimpey says lifeguards performed 2,704 rescues, with 88 per cent of those taking place outside of the red and yellow flags.
“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,” Mr Whimpey said.
“With international borders closed, we have seen a significant increase in Australians getting into trouble at our beaches.
“Alarmingly the majority of rescues and drownings have been outside flagged areas or patrol hours.
“We have sadly seen young men highly represented in the drowning statistics.
“As Australians, we must understand the risk of swimming in the ocean.
“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,” he said.