From this Saturday, City of Newcastle lifeguards will be working a seven-day roster, with a Sunday service added for the first time ever in an effort to support a COVID-Safe summer across our beaches.
Saturday 26 September marks the official start of Newcastle’s summer beach season and while lifeguards already patrol year-round at Nobbys, Bar and Merewether beaches, and Newcastle Ocean Baths, the annual 30-week seasonal patrols will also kick off at Dixon park, Newcastle and Stockton beaches as well as Merewether Ocean baths.
While lifeguards patrol year-round at Nobbys, Bar and Merewether beaches and Newcastle Ocean Baths, the annual 30-week seasonal patrols kick off at Dixon Park, Newcastle and Stockton beaches, as well as Merewether Ocean Baths.
“Last beach season our Lifeguards did an amazing job keeping people safe in the water and taking the extra responsibility of encouraging social distancing when the pandemic related restrictions were announced in March,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“While people’s beach experiences may look different this season, the usual beach rules apply including swimming between the flags and obeying the instructions of lifeguards which will include avoiding over-crowded areas.”
Cr Nelmes added that this year, additional lifeguards will be provided as COVID-Safe Marshalls to patrol local beaches and baths on weekends and during school holidays.
“Prominent signage will remind people about the need to maintain physical distance by keeping a towel length between them and other beachgoers, avoid large gatherings and to stay home if they are unwell.” she said.
Council is also working in partnership with the Hunter Surf Life Saving Branch and Clubs to manage not only the surf’s unpredictable nature but also challenges thrown up by COVID.
“This season presents additional challenges, but through good preparation and adherence to our COVID Safe Plans, we look forward to protecting the community and ensuring people continue to enjoy themselves when at the beach,” Hunter Branch Surf Life Saving CEO Rhonda Scruton said.