Patrol with no beach
SURF life saving flags could be missing from Kingscliff beach when the volunteer season begins.
Waves battered the coast on the weekend, worsening the erosion that has all but shut down the beach.
The sea has eroded metres of land in front of the surf club and holiday park over the past few months.
Surf life savers are facing two problems in the upcoming season – the loss of sand and no beach access for rescue vehicles.
Cudgen Surf Life Saving Club secretary Brian Vickery said he was confident flags would be erected on the beach in September, but if the season was to open this weekend, there would be no flags.
“Because of the erosion, we do not have access to the beach and we would have to set up a mobile patrol at this stage,” Mr Vickery said.
A mobile patrol would involve having volunteers walking the beach with a radio to report any emergencies back to the club to organise a rescue.
“It (mobile patrols) would not require more staff, but it would require a little extra diligence.
“There is a bit more of a delay in response time.”
Mr Vickery said he could not recall a time when the surf club had been without flags on the beach.
“We are contractually obligated to start the season on September 25, but since that's a Sunday, we will be patrolling for the whole weekend from September 24,” he said.
“Our patrol area really only extends as far as the bowls club. But we will find somewhere.”
Mr Vickery said it was a difficult and worrying time, but there was better news from the club's member numbers.
“At this stage, we have about the same numbers as last year,” he said.
The Kingscliff foreshore eroded further yesterday with a large swell and gale force winds battering the coastline.
Northern NSW lifeguard co-ordinator Scott McCartney said the wall in front of the clubhouse was being tested by the latest weather conditions, but it and the sandbags were holding.