With an influx of tourists expected at Mid Coast beaches this Australia Day long weekend, lifeguard supervisor Warren Keegan is reminding beachgoers to swim at patrolled locations and be mindful that water and alcohol don't mix.
Mr Keegan said this was particularly important given that conditions had been challenging at a number of popular beaches over the past week.
"This week in particular has been a little more testing," he said.
"One Mile has been pretty dangerous. It's had very small banks and been very rippy."
Mr Keegan attributed the challenging conditions to a strong nor-east swell that had been pushing into exposed beaches such as One Mile Beach and Forster Main Beach.
A number of rescues had been performed at both locations, with three people having to be pulled from the water at One Mile at the same time.
With northerly conditions predicted to prevail throughout the long weekend, Mr Keegan advised that Elizabeth Beach and Boomerang Beach at Pacific Palms had been fairly safe options of late, providing stable sand banks and partial protection from the swell and wind.
Elizabeth Beach, One Mile Beach, Forster Main Beach, Black Head Beach, Old Bar Beach and Crowdy Bay Beach will all be patrolled by volunteer lifesavers over the long weekend, while Boomerang Beach and Diamond Beach will be patrolled by professional lifeguards.
Mr Keegan said beachgoers could help lifeguards out in a big way by swimming between the flags and not getting carried away with their celebrations.
"People need to be mindful of their alcohol consumption and swimming in any waterway," he said.
"It's a bad mix."
Professional lifeguards will cease patrols at Mid Coast beaches after January 27, but volunteer lifesavers will continue to patrol at Elizabeth Beach, One Mile Beach, Forster Main Beach, Black Head Beach, Old Bar Beach and Crowdy Bay Beach of a weekend.
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