BEACH SAFETY: Can you reduce your risk of a shark attack?

WHILE there's nothing swimmers can do to prevent a random shark attack there are some tools people can use to head out into the surf better-informed.

Sharksmart

This app from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries tells people where sharks have been spotted, what shark species are around, and how swimmers can reduce their risk.

Northern NSW lifeguard coordinator Scott McCartney said the first thing people should do if they have any concerns at the beach is to talk to a lifeguard.

On weekends there may be 7-12 volunteers on patrol at the beach, while during the school holidays there's two lifeguards each day.

The Sharksmart app advises that if you are swimming, stay between the flags, swim in a group and stay near the shore.

Avoid having pets in the water with you and avoid areas with signs of baitfish or fish feeding activity.

For more tips check the "My Risk" section of the app.

Dorsal

Dorsal is a free, community-based shark alert app.

It can be used nationally and internationally, but can be easily honed into northern NSW and even particular beaches.

Beachsafe

A Surf Life Saving app that tells swimmers about every beach in the region. Helpful for any beach trip where surfing or swimming is intended.

"It gives you beach information, patrol times, whether the beach is open or closed, rips and currents," Mr McCartney said.



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