Lifeguard summer patrols commence this weekend
With temperatures on the rise and summer fast approaching, Maroochy Council Lifeguards will commence extended summer patrols this weekend, Saturday 23 September to coincide with the beginning of the school holidays.
The extended patrol commencement coincides with the inaugural Maroochy Lifeguard Challenge, also being held this Saturday, which will see professional lifeguards testing their fitness and stamina on a gruelling 22-kilometre course.
Beach and Water Safety Advisory Committee Chair Councillor Bruce Dunne said Council lifeguards provide a vital service patrolling our beaches every day of the year.
"The extension of patrol services will result in more options for a supervised swim along Maroochy's coastline and additional lifeguards stationed at the busier locations," Cr Dunne said.
Extended Council Services provided through summer:
Coolum Beach Caravan Park: 7 days per week until end of Easter holidays 2007
Yaroomba: 7 days per week during September, Christmas and Easter holidays
Marcoola: Weekends through summer, as well as 7 days per week during September, Christmas and Easter holidays (weekend services provided by volunteers)
Discovery Beach: 7 days per week until end of Easter holidays 2007
Mooloolaba Cats (third Mooloolaba bay site at end of Spit): weekends through summer and 7 days per week during Christmas and Easter holidays.
These complement the year round sites provided at:
Alexandra Headland will have a second Lifeguard midweek from Monday 25 September, which carries through to the end of Easter holidays 2007.
Seabreeze Caravan Park also will have a Lifeguard during the Christmas and Easter holidays providing conditions in this area are suitable for a flagged bathing area.
Councillor Dunne said Maroochy's Lifeguard service has 19 permanent and 30 casual lifeguards ensuring the regions beaches are safer for all to use.
"Our Lifeguards have been busier this year than previous years having performed more than 255 rescues in the first half of 2006, most of which occurred outside the flagged areas," he said. "This highlights the importance of swimming between the flags to ensure your safety."
Maroochy Lifeguards are professionals with extensive training in rescue techniques, resuscitation and lifesaving procedures to keep our beaches safe.
"They know the beaches and local conditions very well and are equipped to ensure the flags are placed in the best swimming area of the beach on any given day," Cr Dunne said.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to swim between the flags, and speak to any of the friendly, professional Lifeguards dressed in navy blue and white uniforms if they have any queries. In any emergency situation, assistance is always available by ringing 000.
In conjunction with the commencement of extended patrols, Maroochy Lifeguards will put their fitness to the test in the inaugural Maroochy Lifeguard Challenge.
The Challenge spans 22 kilometres from Maroochy's northern most to its southern most flagged areas with Lifeguards expected to complete it in three hours.
"It's a test of fitness and stamina with the lifeguards completing the challenge individually," Cr Dunne said. "It's set to begin at North Coolum where the team will swim to Coolum Main Beach.
"They will then run from Coolum to Marcoola Beach, paddle rescue boards from Marcoola to Maroochydore where they will hit the beach again and run from Maroochydore to Mooloolaba Main Beach. They will finish with a swim across the bay to the Mooloolaba Spit."
When: Saturday 23 September 2006.
Where: North Coolum Beach (Coolum Beach Caravan Park).
Approximately 4pm - Mooloolaba Spit for finish of Lifeguard Challenge.