Lifeguards throughout the region are ready for summer, as tourists and family prepare to flock to our beaches to escape the city rat race.
Lifeguards will be patrolling eight beaches throughout the Shoalhaven, with 20 of the 35 lifeguards calling Mollymook home.
South Coast lifeguard coordinator Ken Walsh praised the trainee program run by the Australian Lifeguard Service, that prepares young men and women for the rigours of being a lifeguard.
“It is an ALS (Australian Lifeguard Service) initiative to train lifesavers to further their qualifications and careers,” he said.
“To become a lifeguard you need to earn the gold medallion, which is the highest award you can receive in lifesaving.
“We have had ten trainees over the past two years that have come back to be lifeguards.”
Mr Walsh said the trainees are a great help to the lifeguard on duty.
“They are an extra set of eyes, while the main lifeguards do their own job,” he said.
“A lot of the trainees are 16-years-old, still in high school and a lot of the lifeguards go to university.
“It is a great opportunity to earn money over summer before knuckling down again for the year.”
Lifeguard patrols began at South Mollymook beach in late November, as Narrawallee and North Mollymook beaches were first patrolled on Monday, November 19.
In addition, volunteer lifesavers will be patrolling weekends and public holidays ensuring that there will be plenty of eyes on the surf and sand throughout the summer months.
Patrols will continue at South Mollymook for an extra month than the other Shoalhaven beaches due to the extra numbers throughout the holiday period.
ALS NSW operations coordinator Oliver Munson said lifeguards are looking forward to resuming their patrol duties after performing strongly in their recent proficiency tests.
“We are at the stage of the season now where all the testing is complete and everyone is just really looking forward to putting their skills into practice,” he said.
“This year we will be continuing to emphasise preventative actions to ensure that potentially dangerous situations are dealt with before they escalate.
“This could include such actions as encouraging swimmers to swim between the flags.”
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