Beach team drilled in basics

KIAMA lifeguards are ready for the summer season after 24 lifeguards were inducted last week.

Kiama Municipal Council supervising lifeguard Andy Mole said the group took part in scenarios, worked on spinal injury management, used defibrillators and learned about operations.

"Just good drilling on the operations and how we run our service," he said.

Kiama Downs Surf Life Saving Club's Mitchell Nightingale and Jess Rosskelly from Warilla-Barrack Point Surf Life Saving Club were among the new recruits.

"I've always wanted to be a lifeguard," Jess said.

"I love the beach."

The two 17-year-olds, and 22 other lifeguards, had to complete an 800-metre swim in less than 14 minutes, an Iron Man mission and a 1.6-kilometre run.

Mr Mole thought Kiama would be in for a bumper season.

"The weather conditions are looking pretty favourable," he said.

"We're just trying to get that big safety message across to swim at beaches where council lifeguards or the volunteer lifesavers will be present, and ensure you hydrate and look after yourself in the sun."

He encouraged beachgoers with questions to approach the lifeguards.

"They're more than happy to help - they're almost like information bureaus as well as lifeguards," he said.

If a swimmer gets caught in a rip, they should stay calm and float on their backs, Mr Mole said.

"Raise your hand firmly and calmly in the air - the key is not to panic," he said.

"Trying to swim against or across a rip, you can get tired."

In the absence of surf rescue personnel, Mr Mole advised onlookers to call 000 for help in an emergency.

Kiama's main beaches - Jones, Bombo, Surf, Kendalls, Easts, Werri and Seven Mile - will be patrolled seven days a week from this Saturday until Monday, January 27.

Patrol hours will be 10am-6pm for all beaches, except for Surf Beach, which will be 9am-6pm.

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