State’s most dangerous beaches revealed
THEY'RE postcards from paradise - and some of Queensland's most dangerous beaches.
Ahead of the start of the surf life saving season on Saturday, Surf Life Saving Queensland has released statistics showcasing the 4000-plus rescues performed at the state's beaches in the last financial year.
The Courier-Mail has also included rescue numbers from council lifeguard services, revealing the tranquil expanse of bay at Moreton Island's Tangalooma played host to an alarming 1008 rescues to take the dubious distinction of Queensland's most dangerous beach.
The rest of the top 10 is dominated by Gold Coast beaches, with the high number of rescues at calm water locations including Tallebudgera Creek (237) and Currumbin Alley (201) sure to surprise beachgoers.
Numbers alone often do not paint the whole story as figures are often inflated by the sheer volume of traffic at the state's busiest beaches, such as those on the Glitter Strip.
However, Tangalooma's statistics are even more staggering given it is only patrolled by lifesavers and lifeguards for about eight weeks a year.
The increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Moreton Island each year is thought to be one of the reasons for the huge number of rescues at the iconic destination.
Tim Wilson, SLSQ's lifeguard supervisor for southeast Queensland, said just because a beach looked calm did not mean it was safe.
"Sometimes the flat water beaches can be some of the most dangerous," he said.
"There might not be big waves but there can still be very strong currents and that can surprise people," he said.
Like Tangalooma, Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Alley are largely sheltered from rough surf, but can feature strong currents on outgoing tides.
Cylinder Beach at North Stradbroke Island rounds out the top 10 with 59 rescues, but it is widely considered one of the state's most dangerous beaches and is often closed to the public.
Mr Wilson said swimmers should always respect the ocean, know their limits and try to avoid swimming at unpatrolled beaches or outside patrol hours.