More than 950 people have been rescued from beaches across Queensland in the past nine months, with a concerning number of those on the Gold Coast.
Surf Life Saving Queensland today released the alarming statistics to coincide with the end of the volunteer patrol season, which officially wraps up on Monday.
“Since the September school holidays and start of May, more than 340,000 hours had been dedicated by volunteers to protecting the lives of beachgoers,” SLSQ said.
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“During this time, the red and yellow army performed 59,451 preventative actions to proactively safeguard swimmers, and applied a staggering 7,051 first aid treatments.”
Shockingly, more than 600 of the 950 rescues were on the Gold Coast alone.
“Our lifesavers have done a remarkable job over the past nine months keeping beachgoers safe,” SLSQ Gold Coast Lifesaving Services Supervisor Nathan Fife said.
“With COVID-19 restrictions impacting travel internationally and interstate, we have seen large crowds right across the coastline as people holiday closer to home.
“A combination of large crowds and hazardous conditions resulted in more than 950 lives from Forrest Beach to Rainbow Bay being saved this season, an increase of 27 per cent compared to last year.”
Mr Fife said the most common demographic rescued were males between 25 to 35-years-old.
“Concerningly, more than 80% of rescues conducted across the state have been performed outside flagged areas,” he said.
“We ask beachgoers to make the effort to head to their nearest patrolled beach and swim between the red and yellow flags”
While the official volunteer patrol season comes to an end on May 3, lifeguards will still continue to patrol Queensland beaches throughout the cooler months.