Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) lifeguards will continue patrolling in Port Stephens through winter for a fourth consecutive year, with flags remaining at One Mile Beach.

It comes after several major incidents in the region over the past few months, namely the drowning of a man at Fingal Spit in April and, less than a fortnight ago when a man was pulled unconscious from the water by lifeguards at One Mile. He was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital conscious and breathing following first aid attention.

As a result, Port Stephens Council has elected to continue the service through winter and into the next patrol season, beginning in September.

“Our focus is and always will be the safety of beachgoers on our coastline and it’s excellent to see that Port Stephens Council shares that focus,” said Chris O’Rorke from the ALS.

“While the winter months are often colder and see less overall beach visitations, the data we have collected over the past three seasons suggests there is a clear need for lifeguards at One Mile Beach and the work they do has lifesaving impacts.”

Indeed, since 2020 at One Mile Beach, ALS lifeguards have been responsible for 21 rescues, more than 120 first aids, nearly 8,000 preventative actions and over 16,000 public interactions during the winter months.

Beach attendance has grown year on year, with nearly 50,000 people estimated to have visited the area between June and August in 2022.

To compliment the continued service of the ALS, Surf Life Saving NSW is about to install an Emergency Response Beacon (ERB) at Fingal Spit with funding support from the NSW Government.

ERBs utilise the latest technology to connect the user straight to the SLSNSW State Operations Centre (SOC) where an operator can alert the nearest lifesavers, lifeguards or other emergency service.

ALS lifeguards will patrol at three key locations through winter – Main Beach in Byron Bay, Town Beach in Port Macquarie and One Mile Beach in Anna Bay.

Lifeguards will be on duty between 9:00am and 4:00pm, 7 days a week at One Mile Beach, thanks to the support of Port Stephens Council. As always, the ALS urges all beachgoers to take advantage of the winter service and swim at a patrolled location.

Tuesday 6 June 2023