A recent surge in coastal drownings in NSW has seen the toll reach 35 since December 1.
A recent surge in coastal drownings in NSW has seen the toll reach 35 since December 1. levkr

Lifesavers issue warning as drowning toll continues to rise

AS the drowning death toll continues to rise and the NSW School Holidays are now under way, surf lifesavers are warning the public to be beach-aware.

A recent surge in coastal drownings in NSW has seen the toll reach 35 since December 1, with rock fishing deaths a particular cause for concern according to Surf Life Saving NSW.

In the past fortnight two lives were lost in rock fishing tragedies at Illawarra and Sydney.

SLSNSW recently welcomed the NSW Government's announcement of the second stage of Rock Fishing Safety Act on Friday morning, where rock fishers wear mandatory life jackets.

Coastal councils can now opt-in to make the legislation active in their area.

With families now taking to the beaches these holidays, SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce said it's important people take the time to familiarise themselves with beaches they might not necessarily frequent on a regular basis.

"We strongly encourage all beach-goers to swim at a patrolled location and between those red and yellow flags, get as much information as possible about the weather before heading to the beach, and always let others know your plans and swim in a group where possible," he said.

Volunteer surf lifesavers and lifeguards will be in force throughout the school holidays until April 29.

Beach Safety Tips:

-Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags.

-Use the BeachSafe app or website to check for the nearest patrolled beach.

-Read safety signs for information and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information.

-Always swim with another person, and always supervise children around the water.

-Never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

-If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm.

-Don't forget to be sun safe.