Summer is officially here and it has not disappointed. The temperature is in the mid-high 20’s, the weather is beautiful and it is time to hit the water and cool down.
The Gold Coast beaches stretch from Rainbow Bay at the southern end all the way up to South Stradbroke Island. It is really important before hitting the beach that you understand how to be safe, stay out of trouble and understand the flags and signage. The lifeguards do a fantastic job, but the best situation is to not get into a position where you need saving.
The decisions you make will help you to stay safe in the surf:
- Never swim alone or surf at beaches not patrolled by lifeguards or lifesavers.
- Never swim outside the red and yellow flags that mark safe swimming areas.
- Never swim directly after a meal or under the influence of alcohol.
- Never swim when the beach is closed, marked with ‘Danger- Reserve closed to bathing‘ sign and a red flag.
- Never swim when there are no safety flags.
- Never panic if caught in a current or undertow but raise one arm straight up and float until help arrives.
- Never struggle if you get a cramp but raise one arm for help, float and keep the affected part of the body still.
- Never go out far when a yellow flag is flying – it means the surf is dangerous.
- Never swim if you’re unsure of safe conditions and seek advice from the nearest lifeguard.
- Never struggle against a rip or current but swim diagonally across it.
Flags and signage
The golden rules for swimmers are:
- Always swim between the redand yellow flag on patrolled beaches.
- Always read the flags and safety signs and understand what they mean before entering the water.
Red and yellow flag (Safety)- Swim between these
Yellow flags (Caution)- Swim with caution.
Red flags (Danger)- Dangerous conditions. Do not enter the water.
Picture of swimmer in a circle with line through it- No swimming
Picture of person on a board- Surfboard riding only.
Remember to be sun safe, water safe, look out for your mates and avoid swimming in the dark.
But mostly, have fun!