SURF lifesavers are asking people to use their common sense when taking to the beach over the New Year period after several recent drownings along the NSW coastline.
New Year's Day is one of the busiest beach days of the year and lifesavers will be on full alert to protect the hundreds of thousands of beachgoers expected.
Andy Kent, Surf Life Saving NSW lifesaving manager, says that people need to stay smart when celebrating while also looking out for their friends and family.
"Unfortunately drug use and excessive alcohol consumption at New Year's celebrations can often have hazardous consequences," said Andy Kent. "Combine these factors with swimming in the surf, particularly after dark, and it adds up to an extremely dangerous situation which we're urging the public to avoid this New Year's Eve."
Surf lifesavers are also preparing for an often busy New Year's Day on the beaches and are encouraging members of the public to exercise caution. There have been three drownings in NSW since the start of the Christmas holiday break.
“All these drownings have occurred at unpatrolled locations or after patrol hours. We’re urging people to only swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags,” says Andy Kent.
“Members of the public can always approach lifesavers if they’re unsure about conditions and if in doubt, stay out," he said.
For in-water emergencies call Triple Zero Police. Go to www.beachsafe.org.au for patrolled locations and multi-lingual surf safety information.