Lifesavers save lives
LIFESAVERS and lifeguards in the Bass region have performed 13,347 preventative actions this season, 575 more than the same period last season.
The season spans from November 15, 2014 until February 8.
Andrew Foran, Life Saving Victoria general manager lifesaving club development, said cooler than usual temperatures in January prompted lifesavers to take more proactive measures while patrolling.
“With cooler temperatures we have seen strong winds, active rip currents and big swells, prompting our lifesavers to be more proactive when patrolling to ensure people don’t enter the water where a rip is located and offering advice to prevent injury,” he said.
Together lifesavers and lifeguards have rescued 56 people to date this patrol season, 45 less than the same period last year.
Beach attendance figures are also down by an estimated 2906; however, with warmer weather forecast for February, Mr Foran expects this to change.
“February is known to be the hottest month for summer and we expect people to flock to our beaches on the weekends,” he said.
“With school back it’s a timely reminder for our children to get involved in school swimming, learn about water safety and equip themselves with the skills to safely enjoy the water.”
Volunteer lifesavers will continue to patrol on public holidays and weekends until Sunday, April 12 and Mr Foran encourages all beachgoers to swim at the patrolled locations.
“Hazards, such as rip currents, occur at all beaches, including in the bay. They are not always obvious to people who are unfamiliar or unprepared for the conditions,” he said.
“Ensure you understand the conditions and potential hazards before entering the water, by reading the safety signs, or checking with someone familiar with the conditions, such as a local lifeguard or park ranger.
“The best way to ensure you go home safely at the end of the day is to swim at one of our patrolled beaches along the Bass Coast, where our lifesavers can look out for you in the water and assist if you do find yourself in difficulty.”
Find your nearest patrolled beach and its current conditions at www.beachsafe.org.au or download the app for your smartphone.
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