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Lifesavers on alert for one of this year’s busiest days

Eve, Jack, Emma, Heidi and William Wood at Coolangatta beach. Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Eve, Jack, Emma, Heidi and William Wood at Coolangatta beach. Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

SURF lifesavers are pleading with people to use their head when they hit the beach today.

New Years Day is one of the busiest beach days of the year and lifesavers will be on full alert to protect the hundreds of thousands of beachgoers expected.

Joan Wood, a Murwillumbah native who now lives in Sydney, said she and her five grandchildren had been at the beach everyday for almost two weeks.

"It's been very busy," she said.

"The weather's been great."

The Wood family were set up directly in front of the flags to make sure the young kids were well protected.

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager Dean Storey said people need to stay smart when celebrating while also looking out for their friends and family.

"Unfortunately drug use and excessive alcohol consumption at New Year's celebrations can often have hazardous consequences," Mr Storey said.

"Combine these factors with swimming in the surf, particularly after dark, and it adds up to an extremely dangerous situation which we're urging the public to avoid this New Year's Eve."

Surf lifesavers are also preparing for a big New Year's Day on the beaches and are encouraging members of the public to exercise caution.

There have been two drownings in the last week in NSW, including the death of a man at Budgewoi on the Central Coast on Saturday.

"All these drownings have occurred at unpatrolled locations or after patrol hours," Mr Storey.

"We're urging people to only swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags.

"Members of the public can always approach lifesavers if they're unsure about conditions and if in doubt, stay out."

Topics:  beach, new year's day, surf life saving, surf safety


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