Stay safe on our beaches this Christmas
THE death of an elderly man at Kings Beach yesterday afternoon is a tragic incident and one that should hit home with everyone who enjoys the beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
Despite swimming between the flags, in calm, favourable conditions, the man in his 80s died after he was pulled from the water unconscious.
Beach lifeguards performed CPR for several minutes before paramedics arrived on scene, but the man could not be revived.
It is the type of terrible incident that should make us all question where we swim on our local beaches.
Just as it seems inevitable there will be a Christmas holiday tragedy on local roads, the beaches are often the scene of awful events.
Summer holidays are supposed to a special time, but each year they turn to misery for too many families due to avoidable loss of lives.
Our beaches are among our greatest natural wonders. But they also come with many dangers. Locals and visitors should heed warnings and play it safe when in the water.
The lifesavers and lifeguards who patrol our beaches do an amazing job, and the areas under their command are amazingly safe. But their vision can't spread all along a beach, and they can't quickly get to wherever there is danger.
In the past five years, more than 3600 people have been rescued on Coast beaches. Last season, surf lifesavers on the Sunshine Coast performed 386 rescues, and treated 3994 injured first aid patients.
The swim between the flags message must never be taken for granted.