News

Lifeguards on early duty

Yamba’s Main Beach.
Yamba’s Main Beach.

TRAGEDY was averted yesterday morning when two people were swept off rocks near Yamba's Main Beach baths but it has sparked calls for council to extend funding for lifeguard patrols.

Lifeguard patrols of Clarence Valley beaches run from September to the end of the January school holidays, and then at Easter, so yesterday there were no lifeguards on duty to come to the people's aid.

But three bystanders jumped in the water and went to the aid of the struggling tourists, who included a 13-year-old Queensland boy.

At the time Yamba's Main Beach was unpatrolled and packed with Queenslanders on holidays raising concerns from Yamba Sergeant Darren Williams about lifeguard patrols during this busy beach period.

"Because of the anomaly of the Queensland and NSW holidays, Lifeguard patrols have only catered for the NSW side of things," he said.

"The beach will be patrolled from this weekend for the entire two weeks of the NSW school holidays."

Sgt Williams said this week's drowning at Byron Bay should serve as a timely reminder to people to swim between the flags at a patrolled beach.

"If you are going to a beach that you haven't swum at before and you're not a local you have to sit back and have a good look at the conditions before going in the water," he said.

He said with big surf predicted for this weekend people should take extra caution at Clarence Valley beaches.

"People need to be mindful as the swell size increases as does the presence of rips and undertows," he said.

After what could have been a tragedy, Sgt Williams called Mayor Richie Williamson and North Coast Lifeguard Duty Supervisor Peter Sweetman to see if it was possible to get the beach patrolled during Queensland school holidays.

Mr Sweetman said he got a call from Cr Williamson confirming patrols would start today at Main Beach.

"Clarence Valley Council and Mayor Richie Williamson should be commended on how quickly they were able to organise funding so patrols can commence tomorrow," he said.

Cr Williamson said when council renewed its contract with lifesaving NSW it would look at implementing a new patrol schedule to cover Queensland school holidays.

Topics:  drowning, lifeguards, main beach, yamba




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hot blokes ready to unzip

It's raining men

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

$3.9M for Emu Swamp Dam

CAMPAIGNER: Councillor Vic Pennisi has been a long-time advocate of the Emu Swamp Dam project.

Millions secured for dam research

Latest deals and offers


She’ll be apples in Stanthorpe as festival kicks off

Jonathan Apple, festival president John Thouard, former Young Ambassadors Miriam Spina and Taylah Wantling and Isabella Grape welcomed the start of the 2016 Festival.

It’s a great start for the 10 days of festival ahead'

Greg Inglis inside Maroons Training Camp

Queensland Centre Greg Inglis

Queensland Centre Greg Inglis gives his view of first training session.

Cameron Smith talks about 37 Origins

Cameron Smith, the most Origin games by a Queenslander.

Qld Captain Cameron Smith talks about his record-breaking 37 Origin appearances.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago