Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

‘Massive numbers’: surf rescues and beach visits soar

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

‘Massive numbers’: surf rescues and beach visits soar


Aaron Purchase: 'massive' number of rescues and beach visits after holidays extended

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

Traveller’s delight: enormous expo will get you on the road to adventure

Thousands of keen travellers and outdoor enthusiasts are set to converge on an enormous expo, amid a boom in the caravanning and camping industry. For More

Solo exhibition of Coast’s own Archibald Prize finalist

From a moonlit Beerburrum landscape to a richly detailed portrait of the late Archie Roach, a wide range of works by local artist Peter More

Brighter future for town’s oldest and rarest buildings

Caloundra's historic and unique lighthouses are set to undergo rehabilitation work to ensure the region’s signature maritime beacons stand the test of time. Work will More

Purr-fect crime? Mystery ‘catnapping’ case ramps up

He’s been spotted more than 30km from where he vanished nearly a month ago, but Schultz the cat’s owners won’t give up. The search for More

Sand castles, sharks and the Seal Park: unfamiliar stories of the old days

Imagine ziplining over Mapleton Falls, going to the zoo at Tanawha and being blocked from a road because you didn’t have the key. Here are More

Critical: mum-and-dad owners at breaking point

Worker shortages “across all industries” are severely impacting many Sunshine Coast businesses, forcing temporary closures, exhausting owners and frustrating customers. While the ongoing fallout from More

A staggering number of rescues and beach visits were recorded over the summer school holiday period.

It feels like every year is just getting busier, but our lifeguards and lifesavers have once again done a fantastic job keeping our beaches safe.

They performed more than 700 rescues across the Sunshine Coast amid more than four million beach visitations.

They’re massive numbers that were driven by an influx of tourists as our state borders opened, along with the extension of the school holiday period due to COVID.

We must also thank our partners in Noosa and Sunshine Coast Council for their support in providing additional resources on our beaches during the extended break.

What to expect this weekend

After a few days of fairly benign conditions, a strong southerly swell and winds are due to build and continue into the weekend.

The surf should exceed the 1m mark, and possibly reach 1.5m on Sunday.

A surfer enjoys a solid ride at Alexandra Headland. Picture: Warren Lynam

Southerly winds are expected to be strong throughout the weekend, likely more than 20 knots, which will make the conditions extremely choppy and messy.

The combination of surf and wind will make conditions challenging, so it’s really important to only head to patrolled areas and follow the advice of lifesavers and lifeguards.

Now that we’ve passed the peak of the summer and February has arrived, patrol times will again finish at 5pm at all beaches so bear this in mind when planning your afternoon swims.

Lifesavers put to the test

This weekend will see some of our best lifesavers heading north to Bundaberg to compete in the State Surf Rescue Championships.

The event not only sees our lifesavers competing across the some of the traditional lifesaving sport disciplines, but they will also be tested across patrolling and first aid scenarios, resuscitation techniques and more of our core skills used on patrol every weekend. Good luck to all our competitors!

If you’re heading to the beach, make sure you of course only swim between the red and yellow flags!

Aaron Purchase is Surf Life Saving Queensland’s regional manager for the Sunshine Coast. His column in keeps the community informed of what’s happening on the beach and offers tips on how to stay safe.