Coffs Coast community urged to be Shark Smart as surf lifesaving season approaches

Surf Life Savers and beachgoers enjoying the sun and surf at Sawtell Beach


AS the waters warm up and surf lifesaving season approaches, swimmers are being urged to remember sharks are also on the move.

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The message from Les Pepper, Duty Officer North Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving is clear: be shark smart and swim between the flags at patrolled beaches only.

“Sharks are getting more and more prevalent.”

“We hadn’t heard of a great white in the Coffs Harbour area 10 years ago and white pointers are very aggressive,” Les said.

“We had shark alarms twice in the last season.”

“Prior to that the last time I remember a shark alarm was probably 30 years ago.”

Les told Coffs Coast News of The Area, “This upcoming season we really want to promote that people swim on a patrolled beach and swim in the flags.”

“Unpatrolled beaches are often some distance away and takes us time to get there. In that time, you could suffer a tragedy,” Les said.

Coffs Harbour City Council’s Australian Lifeguard Services patrol Park Beach seven days a week, every day of the year.

The Surf Life Savers’ season starts at the beginning of the September holidays and covers every weekend and public holiday including Christmas right up until the end of the season after the Anzac Day long weekend.

Woolgoolga and Sawtell will also have lifeguards on weekdays.

For more information and tips on rips and general surf safety visit 


By Sandra MOON

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