No danger warnings
By NADINE FISHER
NOT one beach on the Tweed Coast is signposted to warn beachgoers of conditions or the dangers of swimming in unpatrolled areas, a top lifeguard revealed yesterday.
Following the drowning of a man, 42, at north Kingscliff yesterday, Australian Lifeguard Services Far North Coast supervisor Peter Baird said he could not understand why the Tweed Council would not signpost entry points to beaches.
He said just 100km south at Ballina, entry points were signposted.
"They (Tweed Shire Council) have even declined to have signs erected and paid for by developers at Casuarina and Salt following recommendations from Surf Life Saving NSW," he said.
"It is particularly frustrating ... but not as frustrating as people who don't make an effort to swim in patrolled areas.
"There is 37 kilometres of beach in Tweed and eight patrolled areas, at Duranbah, Fingal, Cudgen, Casuarina, Cabarita, Hastings Point, Pottsville and Salt.
''These patrols operate throughout the Christmas school holidays from 9am to 5pm (DST) daily and at Salt, where the service is paid for by the developer, the patrols are all year from 8am to 6pm (DST).''
Mr Baird said the north Kingscliff beach was rated as a six in danger levels on the scale of one to 10, the same as Salt.
"This means you would have to have moderate to good surf skills to swim there, given the conditions, which is why everyone should swim in patrolled areas.
"The proposal for a northern Kingscliff lifeguard service has formerly been put to Tweed Shire Council, but council's response at the time was 'it was not feasible'," he said.
"We are currently gathering more details and will again look at feasibility."
A Kingscliff woman, who wished only to be identified as Yvonne, said the northern end of Kingscliff beach really needed a patrolled area.