Why are thousands turning away from Clarence beaches?
IT MAY have been rougher surf, or a growing fear of what lurks beneath, but there were 8000 less people on our seven major beaches over the two previous holiday periods than the same period last year.
The figures come from the Australian Lifeguard Service's report to Clarence Valley Council which will be tabled at its meeting today.
They were measured over the December summer holidays and April break, and do not count public holidays or weekends when volunteer surf lifesavers look after the beaches.
The beaches include Iluka Bluff Beach, Turners, Main and Pippi beaches in Yamba, Brooms Head, Minnie Water and Wooli. Together 179,872 people were recorded at the beaches.
There were a total of 16 rescues performed, with the most at Yamba Main Beach with seven, four at Brooms Head Beach and three at Turners.
There were 202 first aid treatments, and in a sign demonstrating the necessity of the service, more than 11,256 preventative actions during the period on the beaches.
There were larger crowds at Pippi Beach, Iluka Bluff and Yamba Main Beach, with Pippi Beach having the highest crowd, recording 52,030 people in the period.
Turners, Wooli, Minnie Water and Brooms Head beaches all had falls in usage, with Turners Beach falling nearly 20,000 people down to 37,090 in the period.
A drone was also employed at Yamba Main Beach in a trial to spot sharks, and other surveillance.