THE statistics make for sobering reading.
Since July there have been 40 coastal drownings in NSW. 15 have been swimmers, with the victim often getting into difficulty in a rip current.
The recent case of two men drowning in Coffs Harbour is still fresh in many local minds.
What can be done to better educate the community on beach safety in a bid to avoid such tragedies?
We've seen several road safety campaigns that spread the message to the community on subjects such as drink driving, speeding and wearing seatbelts. Why not beach safety as well?
I believe Surf Life Saving Australia or Surf Life Saving NSW, in conjunction with the state and/or federal governments, should invest money into an advertising campaign to run through the summer months educating viewers about beach safety.
It would drive home the message about how to spot a rip, what to do if you're caught in a rip and the importance of swimming between the flags.
I'm sure the Federal Government has the means to put in some money for such a life-saving campaign.
After all if it can find $18 million to spend on pre-election ads boasting of its infrastructure achievements, surely it can find some money to help out with this worthwhile campaign.