Sydney beaches to receive new lifeguard patrols this Summer

Sydney beaches to receive new lifeguard patrols this Summer
Image: New lifeguards will patrol Malabar and Little Bay Beaches this Summer. Image: Randwick City Council/Facebook

Two beaches in the eastern suburbs will have lifeguards for the first time in over twenty years, aiming to increase safety measures for swimmers ahead of Summer.

Randwick City Council has announced lifeguards will be patrolling Malabar and Little Bay beaches. It will be the first time there have been patrols on Little Bay Beach, with Malabar not having any Lifeguards since 2004.

Announcing the plans, Randwick Council Mayor Phillipa Veitch said, “This summer is forecast to be hot and dry and we’re expecting over five million visits to our beaches.

“We want to do everything we can to reduce the risk that a day at the beach turns to tragedy.

“Expanding our Lifeguard services means we’ll have more staff able to respond more quickly,” Mayor Veitch continued.

Concerns for water-safety

Mayor Veitch noted that there were 281 drowning deaths nationally last year, with 27% occurring at beaches.

The number follows a report from Royal Life Saving Australia’s National Drowning Report 2023, which saw an increase in the number of adult drowning deaths in NSW.

At Little Bay Beach there have been five water-related fatalities since January 2022. The area is also a popular spot for rock fishing, with six people having died at Little Bay from the activity, since 2001.

Lifeguards have also had several major incidents reported at Randwick beaches, with over 120 incidents being responded to in the past financial year.

New safety measures

Malabar Beach will now have flagged swimming areas and two lifeguards on duty.

Little Bay Beach will have its own lifeguard, and jet ski patrols will be stretched between Malabar and Little Bay beaches.

These water patrols will also be completed across other south-eastern beaches, including Yarra Bay and Frenchmans Bay in La Perouse.

Council’s Veteran Lifeguard Peter Halcro explains that the added measures around these popular areas are important, having seen increases in visitors since COVID and over the past 40 years.

“There weren’t nearly as many people at the beaches in the past as there are now,” said Halcro.

“My career spans over 40, so I’ve encountered many more serious incidents. Having Lifeguards there is a good thing for residents and visitors.”

The new lifeguard patrols will be added to the seasonal patrols at Clovelly Beach, as well as year-round patrols at Coogee and Maroubra beaches.

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