Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) personnel have recorded a successful summer at the eight beaches they patrolled across the Tweed Shire throughout the 2014/15 season.

Although there was a drop of 2.1% in total beach visitations during ALS patrol hours across the Tweed, lifeguards were kept busy performing 85 rescues and administering 201 first aid treatments across the region.

The busiest beach in the Tweed was Duranbah with almost 60,000 people making the most of the great conditions. Over half of the rescues for the region were also recorded at this beach, ensuring lifeguards were kept very busy.

First aid treatments across all eight beaches rose significantly in comparison to last season with lifeguards being called on to use their expertise across a range of medical incidents.

Lifeguards from Pottsville South earned widespread praise in January after their prompt intervention to stabilise a surfer’s neck prevented the man from sustaining “catastrophic injury” – later scans revealed the surfer had indeed fractured his neck after being dumped on a sandbar.

There has been greater emphasis on preventative actions throughout the last year as lifeguards attempt to stop situations from escalating to the point where they need to carry out a rescue. Over 11,000 individual actions such as warning swimmers to swim between the flags and identifying potential hazards were carried out.

Australian Lifeguard Service NSW Coordinator Brent Manieri commended the Tweed council, believing that the partnership is playing a key role in keeping the region’s beaches safe.

“It’s been a highly successful season for our team members working throughout the Shire with each of the eight beaches throwing up their own set of unique challenges. The professionalism that our lifeguards continue to exhibit and the enthusiasm they show for the job means the public were vigilantly watched and provided with the highest service,” Mr Manieri said.

“I would like to thank council for its commitment to surf safety for tourists and locals alike across the Tweed region, and we hope to grow and strengthen this vital relationship into the future.”

Many NSW councils have realised the benefit of ensuring a total service provision, as the Australian Lifeguard Service integrates with Surf Life Saving’s volunteer patrol structure, state-wide support operations network, 24-hour emergency callout system and strategically located Westpac Rescue helicopter services.

Tweed Shire Council 2014/2015 Statistics:
Rescues – 85
Preventative Actions – 11,875
First Aid – 201
Attendance – 198,629