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Beach Safety

The 2023-24 beach patrol season came to an official close on Sunday 28 April 2024. From Monday 29 April, all beaches are unpatrolled by Council lifeguards or Surf Life Saving Central Coast lifesavers with the 2024-25 season set to commence on Saturday 28 September 2024.

While the beach season is over, everyone is being urged to keep safety at the top of their mind when in and around the Coasts waterways.

Top five safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Always take some sort of flotation device
  2. Never swim alone
  3. If you’re going rock fishing, be sure to plan ahead - wear appropriate safety equipment, let others know where you are going and carry a phone
  4. Avoid swimming for at least one day after heavy rain to decrease exposure to stormwater pollution
  5. When out on the water, be sure to check your vessel, check the weather, wear appropriate safety equipment, prepare children, let others know where you’re going and know what to do in an emergency.

Until the next patrol season, we encourage you to check out safe swimming options available throughout the winter period at The Grant McBride Baths, Toukley Aquatic Centre, Gosford Pool and the Peninsula Leisure Centre 

View our beaches page for more information on beach patrol times, water quality, hiring beach wheelchairs for people with a disability and learn how to book an event on one of our local beaches. 

  • The red and yellow flags identify the area that is under supervision and monitored by staff 

  • If you get into difficulty, raise your arm, stay calm and yell for assistance. To learn more about how to stay safe at the beach visit Surf Life Saving New South Wales 

  • Slip on a long sleeve shirt, slop on some sunscreen (SPF 30+ minimum), slap on a hat, seek shade, slid on sunglasses. To learn more about how to be sun smart visit Cancer Council website for more sun safety tips!

  • No. Children should be supervised by an adult at all times. To learn more about how to stay safe at the beach visit Surf Life Saving New South Wales 

  • With the push of a button, members of the public can be connected to the SLSNSW State Operations Centre where a State Duty Officer will be on hand to gather important information, issue instructions or provide reassurance in an emergency situation.

    The Central Coast has three Emergency Response Beacons located at the following site:

    • Budgewoi Beach 
    • The Entrance Channel 
    • Pearl Beach 

    For more information on Emergency Response Beacons visit - Emergency Response Beacons - Surf Life Saving NSW

Rock fishing safety
  • To find more information about rock fishing visit NSW Governments Rock fishing safety tips.

    • You MUST always wear a lifejacket that meets Australian Safety Standards. This applies to anyone who is helping you rock fish, as well as children in your care
    • Never rock fish by yourself – fish in a group of at least three people and within sight of each other
    • Inform others of your plans
    • Wear light clothing
    • Wear appropriate footwear – cleats, sandals and sandshoes with non-slip soles suit different surfaces. Use the appropriate shoes for the conditions
    • As well as wearing a lifejacket, bring something buoyant that can be easily thrown and held onto, to help you stay afloat. Also carry ropes and torches
    • Fish only in places you know are safe and never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas. Make sure you are aware of local weather, swell and tidal conditions before going fishing
    • Observe first and fish later – spend at least 30 minutes watching your intended spot to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle
    • Stay alert – don't ever turn your back on the sea. If the waves, weather or swell threaten your fishing spot then leave immediately
    • Do not jump in if someone is washed into the water – use your rope or something that floats to rescue the person. If there's an Angel Ring nearby, know how to use it. Dial 000 on your mobile phone to get help
  • Yes. Rock fishing is a dangerous activity.

    On the Central Coast it's now law to wear a life jacket when rock fishing – no matter what your skill level or experience, this extends to anyone who is accompanying/assisting.

    View NSW Governments Rock fishing lifejacket law and declared areas for more information. 

Boating safety
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