F: Find the Flags and swim between them.
L: Look at the safety signs.
A: Ask a surf lifesaver for some good advice.
G: Get a friend to swim with you.
S: Stick up your hand for help.
If you're planning to be one of the 6 million people to enjoy the surf, sand and sun at one of our 274 patrolled beaches this summer, then make sure your visit is a safe one. Surf Life Saving Australia statistics reveal that our 105,000 volunteer surf lifesavers were responsible for performing 11,837 rescues and issuing over 260,000 preventative actions last season. That means that for every day of the year, around 32 lives were saved and thousands more kept safe through the issue of warnings in potentially dangerous situations.
According to Peter Agnew, National Lifesaving Manager for Surf Life Saving Australia, dangerous rips, strong undercurrents and underwater obstacles are often invisible to the untrained eye. "The red and yellow flags are
strategically positioned by qualified surf safety experts, our volunteer surf lifesavers, to avoid these hazards. With research showing that only 61% of beachgoers swim between the flags every time they go to the beach, it's no coincidence that 98% of the rescues that occur each year take place outside the flags."
Surf Safety Tips
1. Learn to swim.
2. Always swim only on beaches patrolled by surf lifesavers or
3. Always swim between the red and yellow flags.
4. Never swim alone.
5. Teach children to swim at an early age and always supervise them in
6. Always read and obey the beach signs.
7. Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or
boating. If unsure, check with a surf lifesaver.
8. Do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs or directly after a
9. Never run and dive into the water. Even if you have checked before,
conditions can change quickly.
10. If you do get into trouble, do not panic - STAY CALM. Raise your arm
to signal for help, float and wait for assistance.
11. Float with a current or rip. Don't try to swim against it, float and
signal for help.
12. Talk to you surf lifesaver! Ask them about the local beach conditions
or even just say hello!