Lifeguard patrols kick off as beach season begins

27 Sept 2019

City of Newcastle lifeguards are prepped and ready to go as soaring spring temperatures pave the way for another busy beach season.

Seasonal beach patrols will begin on Saturday at Dixon Park, Newcastle and Stockton beaches, as well as Merewether Ocean Baths.

While lifeguards patrol year-round at Nobbys, Bar and Merewether beaches and Newcastle Ocean Baths, the seasonal patrols run over a 30-week period that kicks off annually during the September/October school holidays.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes joined the City’s team of aquatics staff at Nobbys Beach this morning as they were put through their final paces in preparation for the season-opening weekend.

“Newcastle beaches attract more than one million swimmers and sun-seekers to our picturesque coastline each year,” the Lord Mayor said.

“But behind the stunning beauty of our beaches lies the inherent risks that they can present. Last season was one of the busiest on record, with our lifeguards saving more than 100 people in significant rescues and completing 15,000 preventative actions.

“We have an amazing team of lifeguards and aquatics staff who carry out this important service every year with great courage and skill, protecting tourists and locals from the potential perils of the sea.

“With more than 1.2 million beachgoers to keep watch of throughout the season this is no easy feat, and I encourage everyone to take appropriate care and exercise sun and water safety when visiting our beaches in the coming months.”

As part of today’s final pre-season preparations, aquatics staff were required to undertake a demanding “lifeguard mission” that included a 600m ocean swim, 600m board paddle, two 800m runs and a simulated board rescue scenario.

Councillor Nelmes was also on hand this morning to unveil one of the City’s rough terrain vehicle (RTV), part of the fleet of RTVs and jet skis used by the lifeguards during patrols and rescue missions.

“These vehicles play a crucial role in our patrols, allowing our lifeguards to respond to situations faster, provide lifesaving transport to beachgoers requiring emergency attention, and also help move equipment around the beach to where it is needed most,” the Lord Mayor said.