Lifeguards flag safety first for Sunshine Coast beachgoers

(left to right: Deputy Mayor Cr Rick Baberowski, John Lowe (Lifesaver), Lincoln Dews (Lifeguard), Shane Urban (Lifesaver) and Cr Jason O’Pray)

Sunshine Coast Council will inject $5.7 million into lifeguard services this financial year to keep our residents and visitors safe across our region’s beaches.

It comes as volunteer lifesavers return to the beach on Saturday, September 17, to kick off the 2022/23 volunteer patrol season, just in time for the start of the September school holidays.

Sunshine Coast Council Deputy Mayor Cr Rick Baberowski said council’s continued support for lifeguard services across the region reaffirmed its commitment to keeping locals and visitors to our region safe at the beach. 

“The Lifeguard Service operated by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) on behalf of council, manages foreshore and aquatic activities for the enjoyment and protection of Sunshine Coast residents and visitors,” Cr Baberowski said.

“In addition, SLSQ operates weekend volunteer lifesaving patrols during the surf lifesaving season from the September school holidays to the first weekend in May, with extended hours through the busy Christmas period.”

Lifeguards patrol the major beach locations Monday to Friday and a number of other beaches on weekends. To check local patrol times head to and search for your favourite beach.

“In January alone more than 1.4 million people visited Sunshine Coast beaches, and lifeguards performed 285 rescues and 3029 first-aid actions,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Our residents and visitors are kept safe at the beach because of our lifeguards and lifesavers.

“Our world-renowned beaches are one of the most popular drawcards in our region, which reinforces why it is so important for council to support the services provided by our lifeguards, so everyone can enjoy a safe beach experience.

“We have more than 21 locations across our Sunshine Coast patrolled by highly skilled lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers throughout the season (September to May).

“The message is simple – play it safe and swim between the red and yellow flags every time you go to the beach.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast Regional Operations Manager Aaron Purchase urged people to always swim at patrolled beaches and check the beach conditions before going for a swim.

“Our volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards have had a couple of very challenging seasons with unpredictable weather events and an increase in domestic visitors to Queensland beaches,” Mr Purchase said.

“We’ve seen a significant number of beachgoers getting into difficulty in the surf and, alarmingly, the vast majority of rescues and drownings are occurring outside flagged areas or patrol hours.

“We’re expecting our beaches to be absolutely packed again this summer, so please help yourself and us by swimming only between the red and yellow flags and following the advice of lifesavers and lifeguards.”

Council is working with local Surf Life Saving Clubs and the Compass Institute to make Sunshine Coast beaches more accessible and inclusive.

Beach matting, wheelchairs and life jackets are available to use at no charge. For more information please visit council’s website and search for “accessible beach program”.

Sunshine Coast patrolled areas include:

Level 1 – Major locationAll year.Kings Beach, Dicky Beach, Mooloolaba Main and Spit, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Twin Waters, Mudjimba, Discovery Beach and Coolum
Level 2 – Seasonal serviceSeven days a week between September holidays to May, plus weekends, school and public holidays during winter.Bulcock, Marcoola, Buddina/Kawana, Coolum North
Level 3 – Weekend / holiday serviceWeekends, school and public holidays all year.Currimundi
Level 4 – Lower seasonal serviceWeekends, school and public holidays from September to May.  Kings Beach Pool, Boardwalk, Bokarina and Wurtulla
Level 5 – Summer holiday service onlySchool holidays between September to May.Golden Beach, Maroochy River Mouth and Yaroomba.



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