My Beach

01 August 2018

Lifeguards on Cable Beach have been kept busy the past week as strong rip currents have seen unsuspecting beachgoers swept out of their depth and in need of rescuing.

On Saturday morning Lifeguards performed multiple rescues, all within minutes of each other, after a large swell saw dangerous rip currents wash swimmers and waders up to 70 metres offshore, including an older male and female, and a young boy who was separated from his father.

In all three cases, the individuals were struggling to stay afloat in the water having been swept off their feet and carried out in the strong current.

Earlier in the week in a similar scenario, Lifeguards rescued two males who, swimming outside of the flagged area, had been carried out by a strong rip.

With similar conditions expected over coming days, Surf Life Saving WA General Manager Chris Peck is urging beachgoers to take necessary precautions including swimming between the red and yellow flags, denoting the area patrolled by Lifeguards, and heeding warnings on erected signage.

“People often assume that if they are able to stand in the water that they are safe. What they don’t realise is, the speed and force at which a rip current can move is more than enough to carry them beyond standing depth and out to sea in a very short space of time,” Mr. Peck said.

“This is why the swim between the flags message continues to be of utmost importance. This is the area of the beach patrolled by Lifeguards, where they are able to pay the most attention and where they can best see you if you get into trouble.”

“While we encourage people to head down to the beach to enjoy our wonderful coastline, we also remind them that, when it comes to personal safety at the beach, they need to remain vigilant.”

Shire of Broome Manager Sport and Recreation, Casey Zepnick, said the Lifeguards at Cable Beach were doing a great job of keeping the beach safe for visitors and locals during the busiest time of the year.

“The incidents at the weekend demonstrate how quickly the conditions can change, and how important it is to swim between the flags and follow the Lifeguards’ instructions,” Mr Zepnick said.

Last year Cable Beach Lifeguards performed 7 rescues and 1,659 preventative actions including warning swimmers, surfers and other beachgoers of rips, rocks and other hazards.

The Lifeguard service, funded by the Shire of Broome, currently patrols Cable Beach Monday to Saturday from 9.000 am – 4.30 pm, with additional patrols carried out on Sunday by Broome Surf Life Saving Club volunteers from 9.00 am – 4.30 pm.

Photo Credit: Shire of Broome