Council reminds locals and visitors to stay safe while enjoying the beach over summer

BEACH SMART: Mayor Nuatali Nelmes (pictured here at South Newcastle Beach) is pushing for more safety at beaches over the Christmas and New Year period. Picture: Marina Neil
BEACH SMART: Mayor Nuatali Nelmes (pictured here at South Newcastle Beach) is pushing for more safety at beaches over the Christmas and New Year period. Picture: Marina Neil

Beach patrols are prepared to keep crowds safe as they head for the cool beaches and sunny sand over the holiday period, council has said.

All six of Newcastle’s patrolled beaches will be manned by a host of lifeguards, Newcastle City Council has revealed, with operating hours running from 7.30am to 5.30pm, six days a week. Only Sundays will be unmanned by council workers over the Christmas break.

Surf Life Saving NSW will take responsible on the Sunday roster, including public holidays, and will provide service assistance to the council lifeguards on Saturdays due to increased attendance at public beaches over weekends.

“Tens of thousands of Novocastrians and visitors will head to the beach over the Christmas/New Year period to enjoy our spectacular coast,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said. “Our lifeguards will be doing everything they can to keep people safe and ensure everyone has a great day at the beach.”

Council is also turning their attention to international visitors with printed flyers bearing simple water safety messages in Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.

The release was set to coincide with the summer holidays, now that council lifeguards have resumed their full beach patrols.

The city's lifeguards return to Dixon Park, Stockton and Newcastle beaches for the summer surf season until April 29, 2018.

‘Never swim alone, stay between the flags’ and ‘ask lifeguards for help’ are among water safety tips printed in three different languages for overseas visitors this summer.

“As well as providing professional lifeguards on our beaches, we want to educate international visitors about dangerous conditions, how to swim safely and what to do if they get into difficulty,” Mayor Nelmes said.

“Many of us are familiar with how to stay out of trouble after growing up on the beach, so we're hoping also to keep international visitors stay out of danger during their stay in Australia.”

Nobbys, Bar and Merewether beaches and Newcastle and Merewether ocean baths are patrolled all year round.

Merewether and Newcastle Ocean Baths will open as normal over the Christmas/New Year period, however other Council services and sites will operate to adjusted timetables.