Beachsafe app can help overseas visitors
OVERSEAS visitors to Queensland have been urged to download a new smartphone app, to help them stay safe at the beach during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.
Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Steve Dickson said the app provides real time Queensland beach and water safety messages in 72 languages.
"For many visitors, swimming in choppy Queensland surf can be a new, but potentially dangerous, experience," Mr Dickson said.
"The Beachsafe app, which lets users obtain beach safety information and surf conditions on their phone, supports the Queensland Government's On the Same Wave surf safety initiative with Surf Life Saving Queensland for migrants.
"Queensland is famous for its beach culture and a lifestyle based around the water which attracts millions of tourists to our state each year, and this app will help those that are unfamiliar with Australian conditions to stay safe.
"Drowning victims in Australia include an over-representation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds who are considered high-risk by surf authorities.
"Last financial year, six of the eight recorded drownings were of an international background, and all were male.
"The year before, there were 5 recorded preventable surf/beach related drownings in Queensland, and again all male.
"Understanding beach and surf conditions and following safe surfing techniques are pre-requisites to enjoying our great beach environment incident-free.
The Beachsafe app is available for free for IOS and Android and can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.