Splendour in the grass kicked off near Byron Bay today and with thousands of people staying in the region Surf Life Saving NSW is reminding festival goers to take surf safety seriously.
Lifesavers are concerned about the risk of preventable tragedies occurring if people take unnecessary risks in the ocean such as swimming late at night or mixing alcohol with swimming.
A 2013 report has found that almost a third of all drowning deaths in NSW resulted from people swimming after drinking alcohol with 15-24 year olds the most at risk.
“Despite it being winter we are asking festival goers to not take major risks by swimming alone, swimming at night, and swimming under the influence of alcohol and drugs,” said SLSNSW Lifesaving Manager, Andy Kent. “Sadly, this high risk behaviour can end in tragedy.”
Beaches around the festival site of North Byron Parklands such as Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay’s Main Beach and Ocean Shores are all unpatrolled at this time of year and people are urged to avoid swimming at these locations.
“While beaches are unpatrolled in winter our callout teams are on alert and prepared to respond to coastal emergencies around the clock. At the end of the day, people need to make smart decisions about where and when they swim and to heed the advice of surf lifesavers and not swim at an unpatrolled beach,” said Mr Kent.
Held over three days with 30,000 people expected to attend, Splendour in the Grass is Australia’s largest winter music festival.
Splendour In The Grass Safety Checklist
- Only swim at a patrolled beach, between the red and yellow flags
- Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Never swim at night
- Look after your mates
- Call ‘Triple Zero– Police’ to report an in-water emergency
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