Gold Coast calls for longer surf patrol hours

TORI ZEIDLER

Surf Life Saving Flag

Longer surf patrol hours for safer beaches. Source thelandy.com

Queensland’s Surf Lifesaving body is calling for dusk patrols on the Gold Coast where a large number of swimmers have drowned in the last ten years.

The 2015 Coast Safe Report has shown more people drowned at Gold Coast beaches than in any other region in the state.

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), media and communications executive, Cameron Ward said that extended patrol hours could potentially be an option moving forward.

“SLSQ is committed to exploring all avenues in a bid to protect swimmers and eliminate drowning across Queensland,” Mr Ward said.

“We are constantly looking for new opportunities and initiatives to increase our reach and offer even greater protection to beach goers.”

Historically, there have been a number of coastal drowning deaths on the Gold Coast involving intoxicated swimmers.
“A few years ago SLSQ introduced a roving dawn patrol service on the Gold Coast following a spate of incidents and near-drownings in the early morning,” Mr Ward said.

Last year, 80 per cent of all coastal drowning deaths were less than one kilometre from a patrolled location.

“It’s tragic to think that if these people had only walked a few extra minutes to a patrolled location, they may still be with us today.”

Mr Ward reminds swimmers although warmer months are a great time to head down to the beach with family and friends, it’s really important that people use common sense and think about their own personal safety.

“Just one silly mistake or moment of madness could have long-lasting and potentially fatal consequences,” Mr Ward said.

“Always remember that if lifesavers can’t see you, they can’t save you.

“There has never been a drowning between SLSQ’s red and yellow flags, and that’s certainly not a coincidence.”

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