With the summer holidays in full swing and large numbers visiting the Great Lakes, Lower North Coast Surf Live Saving branch president Brian Wilcox said the majority of beachgoers have been adhering to safety advice given by Surf Live Saving NSW.
"People have been generally pretty good,” he said.
"We've been lucky with the conditions, simply because they've been pretty flat while most of the people have been here.
“People have been swimming outside of the flagged areas and not getting into trouble but generally they have been swimming at patrolled beaches which has been fantastic.”
Mr Wilcox said Surf Live Saving NSW and the State Government is working hard to alert the public about the importance of swimming at patrolled beaches, with friends and the dangers associated with rockfishing.
He added that with many surf carnivals and beach events held before Christmas, Surf Live Saving NSW was concerned that beach drownings could be prevalent this summer.
Meanwhile, the Surf Live Saving NSW annual report has revealed 14,415 patrol hours, 37 rescues, 300 first aids and 15,545 preventative actions were carried out in the Lower North Coast branch in the 2016/ 2017 season. Mr Wilcox was pleased by the efforts shown by all members during the period and said patrol hours will remain the same across the branch for the 2017/2018 season.
We've been lucky with the conditions, simply because they've been pretty flat while most of the people have been here.- Brian Wilcox
These hours can be extended if surf conditions worsen.
"We also have in place our support operations groups which are available seven days a week,” Mr Wilcox said.
Looking ahead, Mr Wilcox said the Lower North Coast branch will look to upskill patrolling members in 2018.
“It’s to ensure there is a good breadth of skills across the branch.
"So anything that happens within your patrol, you can cover it and know all the procedures that need to happen and that we can do the best we can for people as volunteers,” Mr Wilcox said.
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