Swimmers in but beaches unpatrolled
CARLIE Parson couldn't wait to soak up some sun at Salt Beach yesterday - just don't tell her that it is still officially winter.
“I used to live in Melbourne where I would have to wear a coat and pants with stockings underneath just to keep warm,” the Kingscliff university student said.
“You can't really call this winter when it has been so hot.
“I have been waiting to have a day off from uni to get out in the sun, and have spent the morning sunbaking and playing with Astro (the dog).”
The primary education student at Griffith University on the Gold Coast is one of the many locals who have been tempted to the beach by the unseasonal warm weather.
“Normally the beach is pretty quiet at this time of year, but in the last week the warmer weather is attracting everyone back to the beach,” lifeguard coordinator Scott McCartney said from Salt Beach yesterday.
“Salt is the only patrolled beach on the Tweed at the moment and we have noticed a lot more people swimming and hanging out on the beach.”
With the drowning of 65-year-old Gold Coast man at Cabarita Beach earlier this month still fresh on his mind, the Tweed's top lifeguard reminded people to swim only at patrolled beaches.
“I did a trip from Ballina to the border yesterday and noticed there were a lot of people swimming at unpatrolled beaches,” Mr McCartney said.
“Swimming at unpatrolled beaches is just not safe and, even if the water looks calm and there is not a big swell, there is always an element of danger when in the surf.
“But it is promising to see that a lot of families and other beach users have been coming down here (to Salt) and swimming between the flags.”
Lifeguard and voluntary lifesavers will not return to Tweed beaches until the October school holidays, Mr McCartney said.
“Beaches across the border are patrolled, and would make a safer option than swimming at an unpatrolled beach.”
The weather cooled yesterday according to the Bureau of Meteorology, which recorded 28.6 degrees at 3pm yesterday in Murwillumbah and 30 degrees at Coolangatta.