21
Sep

Gold Coast Bulletin, 18 September 2015.

SURF lifesaving heads will go to Mayor Tom Tate today to back Australia-first dusk patrols on our busiest beaches after a damning report into their safety.

Operating officer at Surf Life Saving Queensland, George Hill, has called for more flagged areas and twilight patrols to lessen the number of drownings and limit the potential damage to the city’s reputation that comes with it.

A report by the organisation’s governing body reveals Surfers Paradise beach and the stretch of sand from Southport Surf Club north to The Spit as “high-risk locations”.

The area from Surfers Paradise north to The Spit is considered among the Coast’s most dangerous stretches of beach. Picture: Mike Batterham
The area from Surfers Paradise north to The Spit is considered among the Coast’s most dangerous stretches of beach. Picture: Mike Batterham

The 2015 Coast Safe Report, to be released today, shows the city had more drownings (34) in the past decade than the Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Noosa and Redland Bay combined.

The area from Surfers Paradise north to The Spit is considered among the Coast’s most dangerous stretches of beach. Picture: Mike Batterham

Surfers Paradise (eight drownings), Southport (five), Kurrawa (three), Northcliffe (three) and Narrowneck and Tallebudgera Creek (two) feature in the 10 worst beaches.

All of the 10 people who drowned during the 2014-15 season were men.

Another key finding was that nearly three-quarters of Queensland’s 78 surf victims died within 1km of the safety of a patrolled area.

While acknowledging Coast’s beaches were the busiest in the state, industry heads said more needed to be done to prevent drownings.

Surf Life Saving Australia last night said they were unaware of any other city that performed dusk patrols.

Gold Coast lifesaving services co-ordinator Nathan Fife said dusk patrols were a vital next step in death-proofing beaches.

Read the full article here.



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