At The Beach

Beach Safety

Not everyone has been lucky enough to grow up on the coast. So if you don’t have those childhood memories of long summers at the beach, you may not be familiar with the surf safety basics.

The Surf Life Saving Association of NSW (SLS NSW) provides the following tips:

  • Swim between the red & yellow flags
    They mark the area that is watched by surf lifesavers and lifeguards.
  • Raise your arm
    If you need help in the water, stick your hand up and shout for help. Stay calm, float and wait for help.
  • Safety signs
    Look for the safety signs as they tell you about the dangers at the beach.
  • Ask a lifesaver
    Ask a lifesaver about safety at the beach or where to swim.
  • Swim with a friend
    Friends can watch our for each other and go for help if needed.

If you get into trouble or see someone that is in trouble in the water, call for a surf lifesaver/lifeguard or telephone 000.

Other things SLS NSW say to remember:

  • Always make sure you can stand up and touch the bottom when in the water.
  • Do not swim immediately after you have eaten a meal.
  • Only swim during daylight hours and at beaches that are patrolled by lifesavers/lifeguard.
  • Do not swim after drinking alcohol.
  • Never jump or dive into the water.

Surf Life Saving NSW website also provides the same safety information translated into many languages. Visit the SLS NSW site for translated safety advice >>

Be Sun Safe

Always think about sun protection when you're heading out and about. Be prepared:

  • apply sunscreen before you leave, and re-apply it ever two hours 
  • wear a hat, t-shirt, and sunglasses
  • take a beach umbrella for shade, or find a shady spot under a tree

The  Cancer Council site is a great resource for Sun Safety information, and the Sun Smart site has a great list of frequently asked questions about protecting yourself from the sun.

Find Out More

For beach safety information, and resources to help you stay safe near the surf, visit the BeachSafe site. This site can provide you with a list of patrolled beaches in your area, and offers safety advice translated into many languages.

Last reviewed: 30 May, 2014

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