lifeguard on beach with flag and whistle
Thursday, 30 November 2023

We’re tackling the increase in drownings with a new safety campaign arming beach goers with tips to stay safe this beach season.  

The campaign launch corresponds with the first day of summer and National Water Safety Day, 1 December.

Council’s professional lifeguards share the responsibility of keeping our beaches safe with volunteers from 21 Surf Life Saving Clubs. Last year over 10.8 million people visited our beaches with 1,427 rescues and 4,300 first aid cases requiring attention.

We’re urging the community and visitors to take water safety seriously this summer after six people lost their lives in the Sydney Northern Beaches Surf Life Saving Branch area - the third highest number of drownings in the state that reported 48 drownings on NSW beaches and coastal waters last year.

The campaign features a series of simple videos and information to help people be beach aware and responsible as well as what to do if you get into trouble in the water.  

We’ll be spreading these videos Sydney-wide to help educate visitors before entering the water. Signage will also be up at high-risk beaches with our top tips for a safe day but lifeguards are always more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Rips are the number one contributor to coastal drowning, 27%, and with this one of the videos shows how quickly rips move using environmentally friendly dye and what to do if you get caught in one.

Be beach safe top tips

•    Swim at a patrolled beach and between the flags
•    Read the safety signs for information about the beach and if you are unsure ask a lifesaver or lifeguard
•    Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other
•    If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm 
•    If in doubt, don’t go out

To find your nearest patrolled beach and to check if it is open or closed visit our beaches page. Find out more how to be beach safe this summer.

*Drownings by Surf Life Saving Branch as detailed in the NSW Coastal Safety Report.