Beach Safety


The NSW coastline is a beautiful and dynamic place. It can also be hazardous at times so knowing how to stay safe next time you visit the beach is essential.

Last year there were more than 6.4 million visits to NSW beaches. Our lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers performed over 5,000 rescues, 26,000 first aid treatments and 440,000 preventative actions. To make your next trip to the beach safer, be aware of some of the main hazards and follow these simple tips:


When waves break on a beach, they push water towards the shoreline. Once that water reaches the shore, it has to find a way to get back out to sea, and it does this by flowing into deeper channels in the surf zone. Once the water is in these deeper areas, it can flow back out to sea away from the shoreline. These deeper channels are called rip currents.

Here are some simple tips to spot a rip current:

Rip currents can be particularly dangerous if you don’t understand how they work. They can often lead to drowning when swimmers attempt to fight the current by trying to swim directly back to the shore, become exhausted and begin to panic. A rip current will not pull you underwater, if you get caught in a rip current stay calm and follow these simple steps:


Fishing from the rocks is a popular pastime, however it can also be very dangerous. By taking some simple precautions you can ensure your fishing experience is safe.


Bluebottles are a very common stinger around Australia. They have a small blue air-filled sac and usually one single tentacle that can be more than
a metre long.

For bluebottle stings:


The blue ringed octopus is a beautiful, but deadly creature. Blue ringed octopus are commonly found in the shallow rock pools of the inter-tidal zone, hiding amongst the rocks. They can be extremely well camouflaged, only displaying their blue rings when threatened. The bite is usually painless, from a beak under the body. Numbness of the lips and tongue may occur with weakness and breathing difficulty developing rapidly. Severe untreated bites may lead to death. If someone is bitten you should:


There are many types of sharks in Australian waters. Most are harmless to humans. Although humans fear sharks, they are an important part of the ecosystem and a natural inhabitant of the ocean.

There are some very simple tips you can use to minimise your chances of encountering a shark:

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