Tasmanian surf lifesavers will be out in full force around the State from Saturday 5th December through until Easter; Lifesavers and Marine Rescue Volunteers will be providing patrols at their local beaches, waterways and delivering community education programs state wide. Additionally, Surf Life Saving will also be celebrating 15 years since the start of the weekday Lifeguard Service at Clifton Beach kindly supported by the Clarence City Council.
Launch of Summer
As more Tasmanian’s holiday at home this summer and as boarders slowly open we are tipped to see tourism flurry, Surf Life Saving Tasmania encourages everyone to recreate safely, swim between the flags where possible and don’t take risks. If you’re planning on visiting the beach or other various waterways, Surf Life Saving Tasmania encourages all members of the public to remember the following water safety tips and remember to stay COVID-safe.
Key Water Safety Messages:
If you’re surfing or swimming at a beach, spend some time back from the water looking for rips and other potential hazards before heading out or ask a local about the area. For tips on how to do this look for the Beach Safety fact sheets at www.slst.asn.au or www.beachsafe.org.au
For boating and lightweight craft safety tips and latest standards (lifejackets and safety gear), visit the Marine and Safety Tasmania Website at www.mast.tas.gov.au.
Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s Operations Manager, Boyd Griggs said that over 800 volunteers from Surf Life Saving Clubs and Marine Rescue Units would be patrolling some of the State’s popular beaches and waterways over the holiday period. Last season, across Tasmania SLST conducted;
“Research shows that most people drown during summer in the peak holiday periods in fine weather. Men aged 25-34 have been identified as risk takers and represent the majority of those who drowned last year” he said. Coastal incidents were up with 125 coastal drowning deaths, 82 drowning deaths in inland waterways, and 28 in swimming pools. A further breakdown of coastal waters found 45 drowning deaths on beaches, 41 offshore and 26 at rock/cliff locations.
Lightweight craft including sit on top kayaks and other water devices for use at the beach require extra care at this time of year. “Young people using these, for instance received as a Christmas gift, are often unfamiliar with these devices and are not aware of the unpredictability of the surf environment. Therefore, special attention needs to be given to preparation of trips and the requirement for personal protective equipment including lifejackets” says Mr Griggs.
SLST has 15 Surf Life Saving Clubs, 7 Volunteer Marine Rescue Groups and 3 Support Operations Groups providing volunteer emergency services 365 days of the year for inland, inshore and offshore waters. Statewide Search and Rescue Operations Teams support Tasmania Police by providing volunteer emergency personnel and resources when tasked. SLST continues to work with a range of partners to implement evidence based intervention strategies to address water safety issues and grow services in required areas.
Lifesaving Services in Tasmania
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
National Coastal Safety Report 2020 – A Coastal Drowning and Fatality Overview
Boyd Griggs | Operations Manager
M: 0437 099 973
LIFEGUARD SERVICES AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Leanne Johannesen | Training & Community Programs Manager
M: 0447 287 847