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Bid to stop drownings

Dangerous conditions at Lighthouse beach that caused the a man to drown in December
Dangerous conditions at Lighthouse beach that caused the a man to drown in December

IN an effort to prevent drownings on the North Coast this summer, a new education campaign has been launched.

The North Coast Destination Network and Surf Life Saving NSW have joined forces to educate international visitors about beach safety.

A number of international tourists drowned on the North Coast last season, including two Korean nationals at Main Beach at Byron Bay in April this year.

Another Korean man drowned at The Spit in Ballina in January, while his three friends were rescued by a local surf instructor.

Pamphlets, posters, counter displays and DVDs have now been distributed to visitor centres, airports and international language schools.

Spokesman Russell Mills said the campaign focused on key beach safety messages.

"Unfortunately there are tragic and needless deaths by drowning on our beaches and in our waterways and in many instances these are international visitors," he said.

"This is a very simple initiative to get beach safety messages into the hands of international visitors in languages they understand."

Surf Life Saving NSW President, Tony Haven, said there were more than 8000 rescues last season.

"International tourists especially are often not prepared for the conditions at Australian beaches," he said.

"We need to make them aware of the various hazards at the beach and what to do if they get in trouble."

The information is available in seven languages including traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hindi, Malay, Arabic.

Topics:  drownings, north coast destination network, surf life saving



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