Tragedies can be prevented
THE importance of swimmimg between the flags on our beaches cannot be stressed enough.
The Far North, in particular Green Island, has the bleak title as the location of the most dangerous beach in the state for the second time in three years.
It follows the drowning of a Japanese tourist and a neardrowning in the past year.
As, we all know, prevention is always better than cure and both these circumstances could have been averted because the victims were swimming in areas outside the patrol flags.
There are calls for a third lifeguard on the island to patrol the second beach as well as an observation tower.
Authorities are investigating the use of remote-controlled drones for patrol and search operations.
But the key measures are those of prevention.
More multilingual Surf Speak booklets to improve communication with international tourists are being provided as well as an aquatic audit and extra safety signs.
Furthermore the campaign needs to be driven home as part of the arrival messages on flights and at airports.
When tourists come to beaches it is critical they are told to observe the flags, signs and instructions from lifeguards.
Hosts and other English speakers need to assist as well.
Our waters may appear calm and inviting but there are dangers underneath that must be conveyed clearly and calmly.
We want every visitor to the region to have a great and safe time. Plus return home in one piece. Nick Dalton firstname.lastname@example.org