Keeping beaches safe

Community life - 8 May 2018

Each year, the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) and local Surf Life Saving Clubs work with Kempsey Shire Council to provide surf patrols across the shire to keep residents and visitors safe.

Local surf club members and Council lifeguards patrolled the beaches during the peak holiday periods between September 2017 through to April 2018.

Data provided by the ALS shows that during the 2017-2018 season there were 46 rescues performed and 10 calls for ambulances across local beaches.

During the Easter Holiday period, Council contracted the ALS for additional patrols at Grassy Head and Horseshoe Bay beaches while members from local Surf Life Saving Clubs patrolled the beaches of Crescent Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks main beach.

The favourable weather conditions across the entire Easter long weekend, saw 979 people visit Grassy Head Beach and 2,891 people visit Horseshoe Bay Beach, according to ALS data.

The weekend also brought some large swells, resulting in one rescue, 105 preventative actions and 100 public relations at Grassy Head Beach and 204 preventative actions, one first aid treatment and 211 public relations at Horseshoe Bay Beach.  

Due to the dangerous conditions, lifeguards were forced to close the beaches for a total of four hours over this period.

Council’s Director of Operations, Robert Fish, said despite difficult surf conditions during the recent Easter break, lifeguards were able to keep rescues and first aids to a minimum.

“This demonstrates the proactive patrolling techniques that lifeguards continue to undertake, preventing any major incidents from occurring,” he said.

“Lifeguards play an important role in keeping our beaches safe and should be commended for their tremendous efforts across the patrolling season.”

Volunteer surf lifesavers and Council lifeguards will return to beaches across the Kempsey Shire for the 2018-2019 season from late September.

For more information on patrols visit

Grassy Head BeachThe favourable weather conditions saw 979 people visit Grassy Head Beach across the Easter long weekend