Inexperienced swimmers - stay out of the ocean!
  • Thursday 16 April 2020
Mooloolaba Beach

Sunshine Coast Council and Surf Life Saving Queensland have again sounded the warning for inexperienced swimmers to stay out of the ocean.  

Council in conjunction with Surf Life Saving Queensland recently made the decision to remove flags from Sunshine Coast beaches to discourage people from visiting and congregating during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Mark Jamieson said some people still weren’t heeding the message and inexperienced swimmers should not be entering the ocean.

“With the flags down, if you have to even think about asking where it is safe to swim, then you should not be going into the water – it is as simple as that,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We have continued to see situations where inexperienced swimmers got into trouble and put their lives – and the lives of others – at risk. 

“If it weren’t for people walking along the beach or surfing at the time, those swimmers could now be a statistic.

“If you’re not an experienced swimmer or surfer please stay out of the ocean and please stay home.

“We understand times are tough right now and people are keen to get out of the house for exercise, but now is not the time to try new adventures and put extra pressure on our emergency authorities.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast Regional Manager Aaron Purchase said drowning did not discriminate.

“People may think this will never happen to them, but now is not the time to be heading out into the ocean if you’re an inexperienced swimmer,” Mr Purchase said.

“We have a dedicated team of lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers who are monitoring certain beaches in a surveillance mode, but they cannot be everywhere.

“What we’re finding is people are going to quieter beach areas and the consequences of that could be deadly.

“Please only go to the beaches for exercise and under no circumstances should anyone sunbake, socialise or sit down at any Sunshine Coast beach.”

Queensland Police Service are monitoring Sunshine Coast beaches and anyone who flouts tough social distancing measures runs the risk of copping a $1334 fine.

“For your personal safety and your hip pocket, it’s just not worth the risk,” Mayor Jamieson said.

Council is committed to supporting Queensland Health as the lead agency responsible for responding to COVID-19 and will continue to ensure our community is kept informed.

 Anyone with concerns can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or find up-to-date reliable information on the Queensland Health website.

For the latest information about council facilities and services and business assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic see here.

The website will be updated as changes to council’s services occur. It also includes information on how to contact council.