12 Tips of Christmas: Be cautious when using inflatables in open water
In December 2019 and January 2020 surf lifesavers and lifeguards rescued nine people on inflatable devices and cautioned countless others.
Lifesaving Services Manager Peta Lawlor said inflatables should not be used in open water.
“Inflatables are great to use at home in the pool, but at the beach and in creeks there are a range of conditions to contend with,” she said.
“In tidal creeks like Tallebudgera and Currumbin we see people being swept out to sea on their inflatables in strong outgoing tides.
“While at the beach people often get into trouble in the waves as they cannot negotiate them easily while wearing or laying on a floatie.”
A high number of swimmers use inflatables to assist them stay a float in the water, a concerning trend Ms Lawlor says swimmers need to stop.
“Weak swimmers often try to use inflatables in the surf as a floatation device but they just provide them with a false sense of security,” she said.
“A wave may cause them to lose grip of the floatie and they panic immediately which is when lifesavers have to spring into action.
“Alarmingly we also see parents using inflatable rings to hold children afloat, but they can easily slip out of the ring and find themselves in trouble.”
SLSQ reminds everyone to maintain 1.5 metres social distancing when visiting the beach this summer.
“She’ll be right, won’t save your life.” Be a legend not a hero this summer by swimming between the red and yellow flags.