Challenging beach conditions are keeping rescuers busy

AT this time of the year, Tweed's beaches attract large numbers of holidaymakers and sun-lovers and although most beaches are patrolled, they continue to pose risks.

Over the last few weeks, surf live savers have been involved with countless rescues, however, they have not been able to save the lives of all swimmers who encountered problems.

On New Year's Day, a 15-year-old teenager who got into trouble in the surf at South Pottsville, was lucky to be saved by life savers, however, the fate of a holidaymaker who lost his life last Wednesday illustrates the clear and present danger the surf provides.

A 33-year-old man was found floating in shallow water at North Kirra and although life savers performed CPR, they failed to resuscitate the father of two.

Far North Coast SLS area supervisor, Ruben Roxburgh, said although the exact number of rescues was not yet available, this was definitely the busiest time of the year.

"We have around 50 to 60 lifeguards who face fast changing conditions," Mr Roxburgh said.

"The number of rescues depends on conditions and the current weather situation offers widely varying circumstances.

Beaches in the Tweed including Duranbah, Fingal, Kingscliff, Salt, Casuarina, Cabarita and North and South Pottsville were patrolled between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm by a team consisting of two lifeguards and a supervisor.

"The message we hope to get across is for people to swim between the flags, swim at patrolled beaches and heed the warnings of life savers," Mr Roxburgh said.

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