Lifeguards save 100 in busiest season to date

City of Newcastle lifeguards saved more than 100 lives this surf season as soaring temperatures and dry conditions made for one of the busiest years on record, with more than 1.2 million people flocking to City beaches.

CN’s lifeguards have called on the public to exercise caution this weekend, when heavy seas are expected, and after their patrol season finishes on Sunday. Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes praised the lifeguard team for their courage and skill in providing the rate-payer funded service that genuinely saves lives.

City Lifeguard Daniel Collins recalled an incident late last year when he and quick-thinking colleagues rescued a father and his two children from a rip behind Merewether Baths.

“The lifeguard on duty at Merewether Baths raised the alarm to neighbouring beaches, and called for assistance, before entering the water with a rescue tube,” Mr Collins said.

“I responded on a rescue board from Merewether together with Mel Thurlow from Dixon Park, and the jet ski was dispatched from Nobbys Beach to assist.

 “The quick thinking, communication and actions of all lifeguards involved ensured the three family members were returned to shore safely and reunited with their waiting mother and wife.”

CN lifeguards have also administered 2,800 first aid procedures since September, including 80 major cases such as resuscitations, treatment of broken bones and relieving the effects of marine stingers.

Aquatic Services Co-ordinator Donna McGovern, a former Olympic swimmer, said hotter dryer conditions than usual were behind the higher number of rescues and preventative actions.

“The 2018/19 summer season was arguably the busiest season the Beach lifeguard service has experienced due to hot dry conditions and the increased activation of the coast due to the Bathers Way,” McGovern said.