Surfing at North Ball beach, Coffs Harbour. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Surfing at North Ball beach, Coffs Harbour. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

Surfers code of conduct hopes to make beaches safer

A SURFER draft code of conduct will be launched at one of the most dangerous breaks on the Gold Coast this weekend.

The Alley at the mouth of Currumbin Creek is popular with swimmers, surfers and paddle boarders, but is also a busy ocean access point for dinghies and boats.

In 2011 a surfer died at the location after being struck by a boat and regular users say there have been numerous near misses over the years.

It has lead the Surfrider Foundation to develop a Code of Conduct to improve safety for all Currumbin Estuary users.

The foundation says its guidelines "are a concise, common sense approach for all surfers - locals and visitors - of all skill levels which if applied should help make sessions at the Alley a safer and more enjoyable experience."

The group says it will continue to work with the Gold Cost Waterway Authority and other surfing stakeholders to refine and agree on the final guidelines for a Surfing Code of Conduct.

Here's the draft code of conduct for Currumbin Alley:

Before you even paddle out:

  • Be aware of the overall sea conditions - such as tide, swell size, drift, visibility
  • Be extra vigilant at times of low visibility; eg. dawn/dusk, cloudy conditions, large swell, when raining
  • Consider wearing something with bright colours, such as a rashvest, or even a LED light or glow stick in poor light
  • Look for and note the main bar crossing channel where boats are likely to travel in or out; if in doubt ask a local or lifeguard
  • When you're in the water:
  • Be fully aware of other surf craft; especially those bigger than you like boats & stand up paddle boards
  • Be extra careful when entering the channel which boats are likely to use; generally the longer you ride the more exposed you become
  • Make yourself as visible as possible when boats are in your area; if necessary sit up on your board, wave your arms & shout
  • Never assume a boat has seen you
  • When all else fails bail; ditch your board and dive for the bottom


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