City of Coffs Harbour 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
And remember NO FLAGS = NO SWIM.
Read the beach information signs before entering the water. If you don't understand what the signs mean, ask the nearest lifeguard or volunteer surf lifesaver.
If you get into trouble in the water, raise one arm straight up, call for help and float until help arrives.
Find our patrolled beaches
Watch the short video below on the basics on staying safe in the surf and keep reading this page for all of our top tips.
Rips and currents
Poor swimmers - if you are caught in a current or rip, stay calm, raise one arm straight up, call for help and float until help arrives. FLOAT TO SURVIVE
Strong swimmers - if you are caught in a current or rip, swim towards the white water where waves are breaking. REMEMBER: White is Right, Green is Mean.
Find out more about rips and currents
Several of our beaches have tidal creeks flowing into them. Tidal creeks are dangerous because their tidal currents can be very strong. We recommend that people not swim, use surf craft or flotation devices in these creeks and take extreme care if wading across creek mouths where they meet the sea during outgoing tides.
Tips for enjoying a safe day at our beaches
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags - remember NO FLAGS = NO SWIM.
- 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 swim directly after a meal or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never swim if the beach is closed.
- Look for and read warning signs - e.g. "Warning Swimming Not Advised"
- Never swim if you are unsure of the conditions. Ask the nearest lifeguard or lifesaver.
- If you see a person in trouble in the water, call 000 immediately. Never attempt a rescue without a flotation device, for example a body board or surfboard with a leash or a rescue tube. Observe the person in trouble until help arrives. Remember the faster 000 is called, the faster the response from emergency personnel.
- 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 caught in a current or rip and you are a not a strong swimmer, raise one arm straight up, call for help and float until help arrives. FLOAT TO SURVIVE. If you are a strong swimmers, swim towards the white water (waves breaking). Sandbanks are recognised by breaking waves: REMEMBER: White is Right, Green is Mean.
If you are a local, please tell visitors where patrolled beaches are located.
If you are beach and water savvy and see people swimming in dangerous locations, tell them about the hazard and point them to a safer location.
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