Sally, Smurfette spread surf message

GERROA'S Sally Fitzgibbons will join with some blue companions this week to launch a 'Smurf' Safety campaign.

To coincide with the release of The Smurfs 2 DVD, Fitzgibbons will appear with Smurfette in Manly tomorrow to teach children about how to stay safe in the surf and run sand activities.

"I'm really excited," she said.

"It's something that's really important - teaching our kids going to the beach during summer about safety.

"I love Smurfette because she's got a lot of girl power."

The campaign includes an educational webisode which features Fitzgibbons and the Smurfs communicating five easy-to-understand tips for children to follow - always swim between the flags, talk to a lifesaver or lifeguard when they arrive at the beach, read safety signs, always swim with a friend and stay calm and attract attention if they need help.

Watch the webisode here.

It also includes a summer surf safety school at North Steyne Surf Life Saving Club tomorrow from 8am to 10am, which will be open to all participants.

Fitzgibbons said surf awareness was getting better but she had already been involved in rescues this season.

"Some families only get access to the beach in the peak season and it's hard to keep your eyes on everyone," she said.

In 2012, Surf Life Saving Australia recorded the highest number of coastal drownings on record with 121 deaths nationally during the year.

It reported a lack of knowledge or the disregard or misjudgment of hazards as the leading reasons swimmers got themselves into trouble.

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