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Urgent warning for Mackay and Whitsunday beachgoers

September 18, 2023 9:04 am in by

Surf Life Saving Queensland is asking beachgoers to heed safety advice and swim between the red and yellow flags with the 2023/24 patrolling season underway.

Last season North Barrier members rescued 57 people and put more than 22,000 preventative actions in place.

Across Queensland there were 3,276 rescues, which is up 16 per cent of the previous year.

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Of the rescues 768 were for children under 12 years of age, of which 75% took place outside the flags.

Peta Lawlor from Surf Lifesaving Queensland says the data is alarming.

“We want you to enjoy yourself at the beach and take note of the rescues that we had to perform last year for the little ones,” she says.

“Parents please watch your kids, don’t watch your phone.

“Enjoy your time at the beach and have a safe time.”

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Deaths at our beaches are also increasing.

“There were 14 drownings last year on Queensland beaches and all 14 drownings took place out of the red and yellow flags,” Ms Lawlor says.

“Four of those actually occurred less than 200 metres from a patrolling area, so there was a patrolling location where a service was right there.”

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