Law of the beach
By KIREN THANDI
BEACH rage, surf rage, sand rage ? it's not just the temperature that will go soaring these holidays.
When the unwritten beach etiquette laws of the sand are breached, tempers go the same way as the mercury, and beautiful, relaxing days at the beach can turn ugly.
Shaking your sandy towel in the wind or placing your towel too close to another party's can be sinful, but the sins don't stop there.
When does an admiring glance become perving? And can you or can you not light up?
"Everybody does whatever they want and don't seem to care about anybody else," said Caroline Heisner from Brisbane.
"Some people don't seem to know how to behave."
Could she be talking about the people who think the beach is a playground?
Our beaches are often used as cricket pitches and football fields, with balls often ending up disturbing other beachgoers or even hitting them.
Scott Hemmings, 20, has pleaded guilty to committing beach crimes.
"We throw the ball around, and occasionally hit people," he said.
"Sometimes they're nice and throw it back, but usually they tell us to get lost."
Another problem that women found was being hassled by men who used the beach as a pick-up joint.
Coffs Harbour City Council lifeguard co-ordinator Greg Hackfath said that while these things can be a problem, Coffs Harbour beach-users were, on the whole, a good mannered lot.
However, he does recommend that anyone heading toward the beach ensure that someone is always looking after their belongings, for fear of them being stolen.
"Keep an eye on your gear, or make sure someone you know, friend or family, is looking after your stuff," he said.