AT THE READY: Volunteer patrols on local beaches have started in time for the school holidays.
AT THE READY: Volunteer patrols on local beaches have started in time for the school holidays. Gemima Harvey

Keeping an eye on swimmers

VOLUNTEER Surf Lifesavers are back on patrol on Coffs Coast beaches.

Advice from the Bureau of Meteorology is that the El Nino effect looks likely to result in a hot, dry summer, which could mean a particularly busy season for volunteer surf lifesavers.

Surf Life Saving NSW president Tony Haven said it had been a challenging winter for volunteer callout teams, but believes the return of spring promises a bright season for surf lifesavers.

"I am confident that all our patrolling members are prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead in what promises to be another busy season," Mr Haven said.

The 2015/16 Patrol Season will run until Monday, April 25.

BEACH SAFETY TIPS

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, and assess the conditions before heading out.
  • Sun protection is essential - reapply sunscreen regularly, cover up with clothing, a hat and sunglasses and stay hydrated.
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs or swim at night.
  • Plan ahead. Swim with a group of friends where possible so you can look out for each other, and always let others know your plans.
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police.