Merimbula’s Main Beach continues to be a big summer drawcard with an attendance of 40,771 beachgoers over the Christmas holiday season.
It was by far the busiest beach in the region, according to the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS).
However attendances at the eight Bega Valley Shire patrolled beaches for this summer season were lower than the previous two seasons, despite the beautiful beach weather where temperatures hovered between 25 and 28 degrees.
This may indicate a downturn in visitor numbers or it could indicate that visitors are spending their time pursuing other interests while vacationing in the shire.
The combined beach attendance was 160,886 and this makes the shire one
of the busiest regions in the state for lifeguards.
Despite the drop in beach attendance lifeguards actually performed more rescues this year - 219 up from 178 - which can be contributed to more large swell events over the corresponding summer period.
Lifeguards also made 10,803 preventative actions including instructing swimmers to move out of dangerous areas or ensuring they swim between the flags.
First Aid cases were again high across the region and lifeguards were kept extremely busy performing 611 first aid treatments throughout the summer including a spinal and two major wounds.
Merimbula Main Beach was not only the busiest but also had the most rescues at 74 while its sister beach, Bar Beach had 35 per cent of all first aid cases in the shire at 214.
ALS lifeguard services co-ordinator Brent Manieri said the BVSC was extremely supportive of the lifeguard service this season and praised lifeguards efforts.
“Once again the Australian Lifeguard Service has completed an extremely successful season where a wide variety of conditions were experienced by our lifeguards,” Mr Manieri said.
“The professionalism that our lifeguards continue to exhibit and the enthusiasm they show for the job means the public were vigilantly watched and provided with the highest service.
“It should be noted that lifeguards volunteered their time on certain occasions to watch over large crowds of people, even when their shift had finished ensuring there were no incidents and the public were kept safe.
“It is this sort of dedication that makes working with our lifeguards such a joy.
“Council has once again been extremely supportive this season and we look forward to further improving beach safety and working collaboratively with them leading into next season.”