Dumpers keep lifesavers busy with five incidents
LARGE swells and dumping waves kept lifesavers across the Coast busy throughout the day with five separate incidents.
Hundreds of people flocked to Coast beaches yesterday after a break in the dreary weather, and Sunshine Coast lifeguard supervisor Anthony King said simply asking those on patrol what to expect of the surf conditions could save people a lot of unnecessary accidents.
Yesterday, a 14-year-old suffered from back pain after being dumped in the surf outside the Alex Surf Club about 9.45am and was taken to Nambour Hospital.
An hour later a four-year-old received a cut to the head after being hit by a surf board at Kings Beach and was taken to Caloundra Hospital for assessment.
A 55-year-old male was transported to Caloundra Hospital with a suspected spinal injury about 11.22am after an accident in the water at Westaway Pde, Currimundi, and just after midday, a 36-year-old woman was dumped in the surf at Noosa Heads and had difficulty walking.
A 51-year-old man was taken to Caloundra Hospital after dislocating his shoulder at Kings Beach just after 1pm.
Mr King said every patrolled beach would have an information sign outlining the conditions that swimmers and surfers needed to be aware of.
"They will tell you whether there are dumping waves, strong currents going in some directions, or rips outside of the flagged areas," he said. "On top of that, people shouldn't hesitate to go and ask the people patrolling the beach.
"Make sure you heed any warnings lifeguards or lifesavers are giving and try to stay in at waist depth with your feet on the bottom at all times and keep an eye on your children at all times. All of these things should make it a lot safer on the beach."
Lifeguard patrols will be extended at major locations from 7am to 6pm in the lead-up to the busy Christmas period and Mr King said there was no excuse not to swim between the flags at patrolled locations.
A funding boost for surf lifesaving clubs will ensure Coast volunteers can update essential rescue equipment, first aid and medical supplies.
Minister for Sport Peter Dutton announced yesterday $8 million would be allocated to the 311 Surf Life Saving Australia clubs over five years.
Under the Beach Safety Equipment Fund, about $25,000 over five years will be provided to each club and the money is already flowing.
"Each year our dedicated lifesavers perform about 12,000 rescues and 32,000 first-aid treatments. It's therefore essential that clubs have the best equipment so they can continue to save lives and reduce the tragedy of drowning," Mr Dutton said.
The 2013 Coastal Drowning Report, produced by SLSA, identified 121 coastal drowning deaths in Australia in 2013.