The Far South Coast Lifesaving Branch has released this statement concerning their regular patrol schedule:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our Far South Coast Surf Life Saving Clubs have been working hard to find an effective balance between ensuring the health and safety of our volunteer members while maintaining our commitment to protect the public visiting our beaches.
We're fortunate on the Far South Coast to not face the high numbers of beach-goers that is being experienced in other parts of the state. However, we also have far fewer volunteer patrol members than clubs in metropolitan areas and the risks to many of venturing out is placing pressure on our typical patrol structure. The health and safety of our volunteers is foremost in our minds and, as with organisations everywhere right now, we're adapting to a rapidly changing environment and looking at ways in which we can deliver our services differently and still achieve our goal of keeping the public safe.
With this in mind, beaches in the Far South Coast area (Eurobodalla Shire Council and Bega Valley Shire Council) will no longer see red and yellow flags raised on beaches from this Saturday, 28th March and continuing until the scheduled end of our patrol season on 26th April 2020. In place of beach patrols, we'll be increasing our on-water roving presence and support operations capability with jetskis and IRBs taking to the water wherever possible on the weekends.
Our emergency callout capacity remains unchanged with all club callout teams prepared and ready to respond to emergencies as required 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We'll still be there to help keep an eye on people, you'll just see us out on the water rather than on the beaches and you'll see us up and down the coastline rather than confined to regular patrol areas.
We know these are trying times for everyone and we encourage all to be mindful of the advice we're receiving from government to limit our movements as much as possible. Just as beaches are unpatrolled during the week and we need to take responsibility for ourselves when swimming, no beach patrols on weekends means you should always stop and assess the conditions before entering the water and never swim alone.