Lifesavers in action at Mooloolaba Beach
Lifesavers in action at Mooloolaba Beach

New app offers beach smarts, in anyone's language

THE release of a Surf Life Saving Australia smart phone app which provides real time beach and water safety messages in 72 languages aims to save lives on Queensland beaches this summer.

The Beachsafe app lets users obtain beach safety information and conditions for more than 12,000 Australian beaches and is a joint initiative between the State Government and Surf Life Saving Queensland.

The app was launched in Brisbane by Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes and Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey.

"We are home to a culturally diverse community, with people from more than 220 different countries who speak more than 220 languages living in Queensland," Mr Elmes said.

"Unfortunately, drowning victims in Australia include an over-representation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds who are considered a high-risk group by surf authorities.

"Understanding beach and surf conditions and following safe surfing techniques are pre-requisites to enjoying our great beach environment incident-free," he said.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said with more than 20 million visitors travelling to Queensland each year, the app would provide an important service in keeping tourists safe.

"Queensland is famous for its beach culture and a lifestyle based around the water which attracts tourists to our state each year. Being aware of potential dangers is key to avoiding them, and enjoying the beach safely," Ms Stuckey said.

"The app is directed at people from non-English speaking backgrounds, but it also includes an English version to provide useful information for anyone planning a perfect day at the beach."

The Beachsafe app is available for free for IOS and Android and can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.