Water safety., Gold Coast
If you come to the Gold Coast then you are most likely going to enjoy one of the long, white, sandy beaches.
Beaches in Australia are patrolled by volunteer Lifesavers for your safety.
Some people are not aware that they are getting sunburnt, and dehydrated badly!
On the Beach, they have flags, and there is usually a notice nearby telling you what the flags mean, eg. danger, etc.
If there are two red & gold flags in the sand a distance apart, this means that it is safe to swim between those flags.
The Lifesavers keep an eye on the people in this area, incase somebody gets into difficulty.
They will also help you if you get stung by something, or need help.
PLEASE DO THIS, as each year, Tourist's drown, because they aren't used to the Beach and the Surf.
YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET CAUGHT IN A RIP!
YOU DO NOT WANT TO DROWN!
The Lifesavers do a great job and rely on Donations from the public.
So, SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS, SLIP/SLOP/SLAP,
AND ENJOY YOUR DAY ON THE BEACH.............
Please please please be careful in the surf. While the waves themselves may not be big, there are rips which will carry you out beyond the breakers if you are not careful.
Always swim between the flags. You will see lifeguards and there are red and yellow flags. Stay there. If you insist on trying to kill yourself and not swim with the ifeguards, here are some tips.
Firstly, know what a rip looks like. Rips are where the water from the waves goes back to sea. This creates a movement of sand and you can see the sand churned by the rips moving back through the waves. It looks like a funnel and that is exactly what it is.
Secondly, use a fixed landmark on the shore as a reference point. The sweep, or current, on the Gold Coast runs south to north and it is easy to get dragged a long way fron where you started. Use a building to know where you entered the water. This will tell you if you are heading the wrong way.
Thirdly, if you get caught in a rip, DO NOT FIGHT IT!!! The reason people drown in rips is because they get exhausted fighting it. Just let it take you out or if you are a good swimmer, swim diagonally across the rip. When you get out to the back, wave one hand above your head. Someone will see you and go to get help.
The last piece of advice is never ever swim at night. If you think the ocean is dangerous during the day, it is nothing compared to the night.
Always swim between the red and yellow flags when you are swimming on the beaches of the Gold Coast. These areas are protrolled by life guards. The water may look safe enough until you are being dragged out into the ocean and you haven't got enough energy to swim back.
Also do not swim in the canals, as there have been a number of shark attacks in them over the last few years.
Most of the locals know when going swimming at the beach to:
SWIM BETWEEN THE RED AND YELLOW FLAGS!!!!
these areas are patrolled by lifesavers, and if there is a rip in the water of if you get into any tropuble they can save you.
too many tourists dont know this and end up drowning because they dont know just how dangerous the ocean can be.
Just in case you were thinking of swimming in a canal, beware, the sharks here seem just as dangerous as in the sea. Although one wouldnt have expected it. In Dec/Jan 03 two people were killed while swimming (both locals).
An attempt is underway to reduce the numbers of sharks and their food sources (fish discarded from recreational boats). Also Chinese restaurants have been serving particularly fresh shark fin soup lately;)
The beaches of the Gold Coast are beautiful and alot of tourists have the impression that they are safe, but unfortunately sometimes they have rips and currents which can drag people out to sea and/or drown them. Always.....always swim between the flags which is patrolled by lifeguards.
If you get caught in a rip or a current, dont try and swim against it, just float along with it, raise your arm and wait for assistance.
Many tourists have drowned on the Gold Coast because they don't swim between the flags at the beach. The red and yellow flags along Australian beaches represent the area where surf lifesavers patrol. A green flag represents relatively safe water, plain yellow means exercise caution, and a plain red flag means danger or beach closed (don't swim). If you get into trouble between the flags you can wave your arm and the lifeguards will come to assist. Because the beaches often have strong currents and rips, it is easy for people not familiar with the area to get into trouble, and if you're not visible to the lifeguards, they can't help you!! Also keep an eye out for signs about marine stingers - the ones on the Gold Coast are usually not fatal but can be treated with vinegar or ice to ease the stinging.
When visiting the Gold Coast, and you are heading for the beach, READ THE SIGNS, that are posted, look for the Flag area, which is a safe zone, and don't swim in areas where you can't be seen. We have Lifeguards on many of our beaches, but they can't help you if they can't see you. We get some very strong rips in certain areas, and unfortunately, quite a few people have drowned. Also tell your Non-English speaking friends, if they are planning a trip to Australia. This applies to all our beaches. If unsure, ASK someone.
Patrolled Surf Beaches
Surf safety is a high priority, and swimming at unpatrolled beaches is discouraged. The Gold Coast City Council employs the largest professional lifeguard staff in Australia who patrol 17 beaches on a year round basis and 29 beaches during school holiday periods. In addition volunteer members of the Surf Life Saving Association patrol beaches every weekend on the Gold Coast from September to May.
Many visitors to Australia aren't prepared for the strength of our waters or sun. Always travel with plenty of water, sunscreen, a light shirt to cover your sholders and back and don't forget a hat.
SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS. I am a lifesaver (hence my love of Coolangatta beach) and I can tell you, even I swim in the flags. Our beaches are unpredictable. Sand is being dredged all the time and nature also digs holes in the shores for rips to grow in.
No one has ever drowned between the flags, though this season we saw about 20 tourists drown. They awent in on dusk, and early morning with a few drinks in them...bye bye tourists. Don't screw with nature - she wins every time.
The flags are placed in the safest spot at that moment, so often, just outside them is a rip or strong current.
No matter how good a swimmer you think you are...prove it somewhere else. Don't put a lifesavers life at risk to prove you have balls.
And if you are outside the flags they can't see you anyway. If you wanna gamble - go to the casino please. Yadda yadda....get the point?
PS. if you are taken by a rip (pulling you put to sea). Don't try to swim against it straight back to shore. Swim sideways along the beach until you are out of the funnel, then start swimming back in. If in the flags, wave one hand above your head. If not... good luck..!
Gold coast beachs are patrolled (most all year round) by Life Savers. Each day they determine where the best place to swim.
The safe areas to swim are between the red and yellow flags.
I wouldn't go into unknown territory in the mountains. So don't swim outside the flags. The water may look inviting, but it can be ferocious underneath.
Please don't become a drowning victim.
It is very important on the Gold Coast to swim between the flags on the open beaches. Never swim outside of this area as there are usually strong rips. Many people drown here every year because they ignore this warning.
Attenti ! Nuoti soltanto fra le bandiere ! E` molto pericoloso per nuotare fuori le bandiere sulla spiaga!
There are many beautiful beaches along the Gold Coast to be enjoyed. But do remember to swim between the red and yellow flags. The red and yellow flags indicate an area of the beach which is supervised by lifeguards. Ask the lifeguards if there are any dangers present ie. rips.
For more surf safety tips refer to: