Police are taking to the beach beat over summer, targeting anti-social behaviour on and around popular beaches.
Acting Inspector Ryan Sheaff from South Coast Police said officers would be running high-visibility operations around beaches, and ensuring all beach and waterways users were complying with maritime safety laws.
He said it was aimed at ensuring people looked after themselves and others – particularly the surf life savers who risked their lives to save people in trouble.
“We urge people to swim between the flags, and remember that alcohol and water don’t mix,” Acting Inspector Sheaff said.
“If you’re thinking of drinking while boating, think again – the same drink driving riles apply on the water as they do on our roads.
“That goes for swimming too – swimming while drunk could cost you your life.”
Acting Inspector Sheaff said a real danger was people overestimating their abilities, particularly after a couple of years of lockdowns had brought about falling fitness and skills levels.
“It’s a real concern if people aren’t comfortable in the water, or aren’t capable of managing their own safety, and just try and go a bit too far in terms of overestimating what they can and can’t do in the water,” he said.
And he stressed the best way to stay safe on the beach was to swim on patrolled beaches between the flags.
Image: Glenn Ellard