Professional lifeguard Greg Hackfath keeps a watchful eye on the ocean at Woolgoolga.
Professional lifeguard Greg Hackfath keeps a watchful eye on the ocean at Woolgoolga. Trevor Veale

Lifeguard pleads for surf sense during Coffs Coast summer

AS THE arrival of summer boosts beach attendance, Coffs Harbour Lifeguards coordinator Greg Hackfath pleads for everybody to "think safety" to ensure the take-home memories are purely about enjoyment.

A 20 year professional on Coffs Coast beaches and the APOLA national field officer, Greg warns that a mistake in the surf can bring an unwanted tragedy.

"All regulars and seasonal beachgoers, be they swimmers, rock fishers, small boaters or surfers, need to maintain a healthy respect for the ocean," he said.

"Everyone needs to plan for safety when out and about at beaches and at other open water locations.

"If people think safety first, then a day at the beach can be great fun and add to the great memories that our Australian summer can bring."

This summer's temperatures are expected to be above average.

That points to huge crowds on beaches and everyone must remember to properly check on what the wave and water conditions are like.

"Be it cool and overcast, or hot and sunny, people should always think carefully about where they should swim, surf, fish or paddle," Greg said.

"Always be guided by the lifeguards, read the beach signs and take time to check it out before you go out.

"The best swimming locations are at supervised locations known as the area between the red and yellow flags.

"Going to an unsupervised beach is not a good idea unless you are an experienced surfer.

"Know your limitations, learn how to read the conditions and never go in alone."



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