Beach safety priority

THE safety message to swim at patrolled beaches between the flags is getting out despite the drowning deaths of an Orangeville couple at South Ballina Beach on Tuesday evening, according to the Northern Region coordinator of the Australian Lifeguard Service.

Scott McCartney said the level of awareness of beach safety, particularly among tourists, was increasing but that more resources would always be appreciated.

“I think we are getting the message out beyond the locals,” he said.

“We’ve got ads on TV, we go out to workshops called from the beach to the bush to schools out west.

“We could always do with more but the councils are doing the best they can and are working well with the Australian Lifeguard Service.”

The ALS also hands out brochures to tourist operators to inform visitors.

Mr McCartney said more signs warning of potential dangers on the beach would be welcomed, particularly at unpatrolled beaches.

Signage in alternate languages could also be appropriate, he said.

A beach poll at Byron Bay yesterday confirmed the safety message is getting across.

The lack of warning signs on South Ballina Beach has been raised following the deaths of Carole and Joseph Sherry on Tuesday.

Mrs Sherry drowned after rescuing her two youngest children from the surf and Mr Sherry drowned trying to save his wife.

The three Sherry children watched the tragedy unfold from the beach.



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