Statistics reveal rescues down with rising safety awareness
COFFS Harbour's lifeguards only had to perform 26 rescues throughout the past year - but the vast majority were at unpatrolled locations.
Of the 26 rescues - one of the lowest statistics recorded for 17 years - 21 took place in unpatrolled areas.
"While the low number of rescues is positive, it's sobering to see so many rescues still happening outside of patrolled areas," Coffs Harbour City Council's lifeguard service coordinator, Grag Hackfath said.
"These stats hopefully suggest that the message about only bathing at patrolled beaches is getting through, but clearly there are people out there who still need to take it on board."
During 2013-2014, Council's lifeguards carried out:
- 20,842 preventative actions. Preventative actions are those taken by Lifeguards to prevent an incident from occurring - for example asking someone to swim in the patrolled area.
- 244 dog-related actions - for example advising owners of regulations.
- 401 surf craft actions - such as advising users of regulations.
- 17 other types of law enforcement issues - such as advising where vehicles can be driven/parked on beaches and the use of camp fires.
Stings from jellyfish and other marine life only accounted for 46 first aid cases this year with a further 70 general first aid incidents. There was only one recorded serious first aid case.
The Lifeguards continue to promote their education programs on beach and water safety with more than 1,200 certificates issued in the past 12 months to school students.
In addition, Coffs Harbour City Council's lifeguard service also visited most local primary schools - and some in neighbouring council areas - to speak on general beach safety issues.
One of the highlights of the year was a community Well-being Day held at Sawtell Primary last month, where the Lifeguard Service addressed approximately 300 children on healthy lifestyles and water safety.