Take care on beaches


STRONGER currents, debris in the water and increased numbers of sharks would be a danger to beachgoers following yesterday's heavy rains, lifeguards have warned.

Australian Lifeguard Services Far North Coast supervisor Peter Baird yesterday pleaded with the public to swim only in patrolled areas.

The warning comes after the drowning of 42-year-old Parkes man, Colin Grover at Kingscliff Beach on Wednesday.

Mr Grover, who was found at 8am lying face down in shallow water at the edge of the beach, was holidaying at Kingscliff with his family.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

Mr Baird said the heavy rains in the area over the past 24 hours would affect beach conditions, creating stronger currents due to floodwater run-offs from the estuaries.

People needed to be especially careful around the mouths of rivers and creeks where the current was generally at its greatest, he said.

"There will be a lot of debris being washed out as well, especially on the outgoing tides," he said.

"There's also a higher chance of sharks being around river mouths feeding on washed out fish from rivers and creeks."

Mr Baird said to reduce risks swim in patrolled areas where lifeguards survey water for debris and sharks.

"Be careful around stormwater run-off pipes that are on some beaches and don't let kids play in them or dig in the sand around them as it can be unstable," he said.

"And don't get out of your depth in the water. These currents can be quite strong and last for two to three days after the rain has stopped."

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