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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Lifeguard services back for summer

member of the Australian Lifeguard Service looks out to the beach surf19 December 2018

The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) will once again be a fixture on the Shire’s beaches this summer.

With the largest stretch of coastline of any NSW local government area, there is no question of the importance of beaches to residents and visitors of the Shire. 

This is evident through the visitation of the eight service locations during the summer school holidays, with ALS’s 2017-18 report recording 168,760 attendances over the six-week contracted patrol period (up 23,000 on the same time last season).

The value of this long-established program is also very clear through the number of rescues performed by the lifeguards.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Aquatic Facilities Coordinator, Nic Hoynes, said due to the specific surf skills, experience and resources required to provide surf lifeguard services, it remained the best option to contract this work out to professional lifeguards.

“From Council’s perspective we see this service as absolutely vital to ensure our most popular beaches can be safely experienced and enjoyed,” Mr Hoynes said.

“It is also extremely important to highlight the wonderful work that the three volunteer surf lifesaving clubs - who provide lifesaving services at Bermagui (Horseshoe Bay), Pambula Beach and Tathra on weekends and public holidays undertake for the community.”

The summer beach lifeguard service is funded through a Bega Valley Shire Council Special Rate Variation (SRV). The locations and timing of services is based on a risk management approach considering advice and reports from professional lifeguards over the past three years.

In a fantastic gesture of solidarity with the community ALS recently announced that they will provide the Tathra February patrol extension for 2019 at no charge in recognition of the previous efforts by the Tathra Chamber of Commerce to provide this service and to assist the Tathra community after the fires this year.

Another notable first will be the introduction of drones by ALS to assist the lifeguards at Tathra and Pambula.

Council 2018/19 Lifeguard Program

Beach

Patrol Dates

Days of Service

Patrol Times

Number of Lifeguards at Location

Camel Rock

26/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

7 days

9am - 5pm

2

Bermagui (Horseshoe Bay)

20/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

5 days

9am - 5pm

2

Tathra#

20/12/2018 to 22/02/2019

5 days

9am - 5pm

2

Merimbula (Short Point)

26/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

7 days

9am - 5pm

2

Merimbula (Bar Beach)

26/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

7 days

9am - 5pm

2

Merimbula (Main Beach)

26/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

7 days

9am - 5pm

2

Pambula

20/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

5 days

9am - 5pm

2

Eden (Aslings Beach)

20/12/2018 to 28/01/2019

7 days

9am - 5pm

2

* Local surf clubs run patrols on weekends and public holidays at Pambula Beach, Tathra Beach and Bermagui (Horseshoe Bay)

# Tathra February service extension will be provided by ALS this season at no cost.

Photograph: The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) will once again be a fixture on the Shire’s beaches this summer.

END


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