Busy summer season for lifeguards on Kempsey Shire beaches

Media release - 18 January 2019

Fine weather conditions and favourable surf conditions has seen crowds flock to Kempsey Shire beaches this summer, with lifeguards kept busy supervising beachgoers.

Council’s Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said more than 64,000 people visited Kempsey Shire’s five patrolled beaches between 24 December and 11 January.

The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) provide lifeguards at Horseshoe Bay and Grassy Head daily, and weekdays at Crescent Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks Main Beach.

“Conditions have been mostly fine during this period with a small swell which has attracted lots of visitors to the beaches,” Mr Fish said.

“Continuous north-easterly winds brought blue bottles onto all beaches with lifeguards treating 326 stings.”

The prevalence of bluebottles and occasional shark sightings by the Department of Primary Industries helicopter saw some beaches closed for short periods.

“Our lifeguards, in conjunction with volunteer lifesavers, are doing a fantastic job in ensuring that people swim between the flags and are mindful of beach conditions,” Mr Fish said.

“This is evident by the fact that only six rescues have been performed by lifeguards at the beaches over the three-week period despite 64,312 visitors to our beaches.”

Summer holiday statistics to 11 January 2019:

  • Beach visits - 64,312
  • Rescues - 6
  • Preventative Actions - 3,149

At the beach, follow these simple safety messages:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat and seek shade
  • Always wear a lifejacket when boating or rock fishing
  • If caught in a rip, wave your arm to attract attention, remain calm and float or swim parallel to the beach
  • Read the safety signs
  • Ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for safety advice
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency, call 000 - Police

Lifeguards will continue to patrol beaches at Grassy Head and Horseshoe Bay at South West Rocks from 9am until 5pm, seven days a week until Monday, 28 January.

Patrols at South West Rocks main beach, Hat Head and Crescent Head main beach will occur from 9am until 5pm on weekdays, concluding on Friday, 25 January.

Grassy Head BeachMore than 64,000 people have attended Kempsey Shire’s beaches this holiday period