Beachgoers are being urged to take responsibility for their safety and swim between the flags, after NSW recorded an increase in the number of drownings this Summer.
Since December 1, there have been 15 coastal deaths and drownings, including three rock fisherman, which is two more than the same time last year.
People are being reminded to swim between the flags, observe safety warnings, and look after loved ones when close to the water, with Australia Day traditionally a high-risk holiday on our waterways.
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said beachgoers can take simple precautions in and around the water to keep themselves safe.
“A tragedy can unfold in seconds on our beaches. Please supervise children, swim between the flags, wear a life jacket when required and always listen to the warnings from emergency services,” Ms Cooke said.
“I want to thank the 75,000 Surf Life Saving NSW volunteers and 129 surf clubs who have worked tirelessly this summer to keep locals and visitors safe on our beaches.”
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steve Pearce said despite the recent wet weather, his organisation has had an extremely busy holiday period across the state.
“The NSW coastline boasts beautiful beaches and everyone can enjoy them safely by checking the conditions before swimming, wearing a life jacket when boating or rock fishing and remembering that alcohol and water activities don’t mix,” Mr Pearce said.
Over the Australia Day long weekend last year, surf lifesavers and lifeguards rescued 815 people, which accounted for 22 per cent of all rescues recorded in the entire year.
Since July 1, there have been more than 31 coastal drownings and deaths in NSW, including five rock fishermen.