Water Safety

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Swim Between The Flags

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Stay safe at the beach this summer by swimming between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches...

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Water Safety

Coffs Harbour City Council employs a professional lifeguard team to patrol the City's most popular beaches and to promote surf safety education.

The number one golden rule for swimmers is:

Always swim between the red & yellow flags on patrolled beaches.  Remember NO FLAGS = NO SWIM.

It is important to read the beach information signs and understand what they mean before entering the water.

Follow these simple guidelines to ensure an enjoyable day at our beaches:

  • Never swim alone at beaches not patrolled by lifeguards or lifesavers. If you are at an unpatrolled beach ensure that you have a flotation device with you (body board or surfboard with a leash.)
  • Never attempt a rescue without a flotation device (body board or surfboard with a leash) call 000 and wait for help.
  • Never bathe/swim directly after a meal or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Never bathe/swim if the beach is closed. Read warning signs - "Warning Swimming Not Advised."
  • Never bathe/swim if unsure of conditions. Seek advice of nearest lifeguard or lifesaver.
  •  Always bathe/swim between the red and yellow flags - remember NO FLAGS = NO SWIM.
  • Poor swimmers - Stay calm if caught in a current or rip, raise one arm straight up, call for help and float until help arrives.
  • Strong swimmers - Stay calm if caught in a rip or current, if you are a strong swimmer, swim towards the white water (waves breaking).  Sandbanks are recognised by breaking waves: REMEMBER: White is Right, Green is Mean.
  • Stay calm if seized with a cramp. Raise one arm for help, float and keep the affected part of the body still.
  • If you are a local, please advise visitors where patrolled beaches are located.
  • If you are beach and water savvy and see people swimming in dangerous locations, advise them of the hazard and point them to a safer location.
  • If you see a person in trouble in the water, immediately call 000. Never attempt a rescue without a flotation device, observe the person in trouble until help arrives. Remember the faster 000 is called the faster the response from emergency personnel.