The start of the 2020/21 patrol season across the Lower North Coast coincided with a celebration of the 40th anniversary of official female involvement in surf lifesaving.
Female patrol members from Forster SLSC and Pacific Palms SLSC dressed in pink and took to Forster Main Beach and Elizabeth Beach respectively to mark the occasion.
Pacific Palms SLSC director of member services, Rebecca Austin, who organised the initiative at Elizabeth Beach with fellow members Janet Allen and Jan Moran, said it was very well received by both the girls who took part and the public.
"Most people were really impressed to see us out in our pink," Ms Austin said.
"We had 27 female members turn up, from our rookie program - so under-13s - right up to their late 60s."
Ms Austin said Pacific Palms SLSC now planned to make the pink patrol an annual event, with International Women's Day in March (or the weekend closest to it) marked out as a suitable date.
Lower North Coast Branch president Brian Wilcox said the contributions of female members from the seven clubs across the branch were phenomenal and it was great to celebrate such a significant occasion.
"Without the ladies in the organisation I don't think we'd exist anymore," he said.
"They hold so many important positions."
Mr Wilcox said the disruption associated with COVID-19 had made it hard for all clubs to take part in the pink patrols, but the branch planned to do something official later in the season to celebrate the occasion as a whole.
Forster SLSC member Anne Evans said 32 of the club's 77 rostered patrol members were women and girls, demonstrating just how big a contribution females made in keeping the public safe at Forster Main Beach.
You may also like: Learn more about the elusive Mid Coast platypus
In terms of the start of the patrol season, Mr Wilcox said conditions were fairly benign over the weekend and there weren't as many people around as expected.
"I guess they'll come this weekend," he said.
"(There were) no rescues, it was a good start to the season."
However, given both interstate and international travel is currently off the cards, Mr Wilcox expects the season ahead could be busier than normal.
"There's the potential for a bigger season than usual," he said.
"We're preparing for what may come."
Mr Wilcox said the branch was more than prepared for the summer ahead, with 1766 local lifesavers enlisted to help protect beachgoers from Crowdy Head to Pacific Palms.
"They're all ready to go," he said.
Thank you for valuing local journalism with your subscription. While you're with us, you can also receive updates straight to your inbox from the Great Lakes Advocate. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.