Up go the red and yellow flags … but caution urged

The red and yellow flags are set to go up at the region’s 15 patrolled beaches from September 26 but Central Coast Council is getting in early with new measures and message related to COVID-safe behaviour and requirements for rock fishers.

Acting Council Director Connected Communities, Phil Cantillon, said it is vital that community members and tourists follow simple safety steps while enjoying quality time on the region’s spectacular beaches.

“Our lifesavers and lifeguards do an incredible job keeping us safe across beach season, but we also need to do our bit,” Cantillon said.

“Heading to the beach means relaxing, recharging, keeping fit and active, and it also means switching on a beach safety mind-set.

“Beach safety practices we always need to follow stand true – like only swimming at patrolled beaches and always swimming between the flags – but this season COVID-safe behaviour at the beach is also incredibly important.

“Please maintain 1.5 metre social distance from people who are not from your household and keep group gatherings to a maximum of 20 people, as mandated by NSW Health.

“Many of our beaches are extremely popular and crowd management measures may be in place to keep our community and visitors safe.

“We’ll be making regular COVID-safe reminder announcements over the loud-speakers at our patrolled sites and NSW Police will also be regularly monitoring beaches.

“Should it be necessary to close any Central Coast beaches this season, clear signage will be displayed.

“Council has also introduced a requirement that anyone engaging in rock fishing must wear a life jacket – this requirement extends to anyone who accompanies someone who is rock fishing.

“We are installing signs at various locations that clearly outline what is required for anyone engaging in rock fishing on the Coast.”

Mayor Lisa Matthews said enjoying the beach season and the importance of safety always need to go hand-in-hand.

“With the weather warming up and increased visitors to the Coast, it’s important we all follow basic steps to keep ourselves and others safe when enjoying the beach,” Cr Matthews said.

“Measures in place to keep us COVID-safe extend to the beach and everyone must vigilantly follow these requirements whilst soaking up the sun and surf at one of the many stunning beaches along our coastline.”

Council’s Lifeguards patrol beaches from Monday to Friday, with Surf Life Saving volunteers on duty on weekends and public holidays.

During non-peak times, from September 26-December 17 and January 30- April 25, patrols will be in place between 9am and 5pm.

Patrols continue for an extra hour, to 6pm during peak holiday period, December 18-January 29 with Terrigal, Avoca and Umina beach patrols also starting an hour earlier, at 8am.

Media release, Sep 8
Central Coast Council