Beachgoer increase sees 52 rescues at Umina Beach
Umina Surf Lifesaving Club conducted 52 rescues over the weekend of March 21 and 22, when terrible surf, several rips, warm weather and Sydney beach closures saw an increase of beachgoers at the beach.
Club president Mr Stephen Scahill said: "It was a very difficult weekend for members, particularly as beachgoers were spread out and not swimming between the flags.
"It got to the point where patrollers ended up taking up positions along the beach all the way to Kiddies Corner to ensure we had the coverage we needed," Mr Scahill said.
He said so much strain was placed on patrollers that the club was forced to call in off-duty members to assist.
Both Surf Life Saving Central Coast and Central Coast Council have since opted to end the patrol season.
Mr Scahill admitted the sudden cessation of patrols while the beach remained open had him worried, but he was hopeful that the beach would not see a crowd like that again as the temperature cooled and the public adopted more stringent social distancing practices.
"It is a little concerning and I would definitely advise not to go swimming for the time being," he said.
Interview (Dilon Luke), 26 Mar 2020
Stephen Scahill, Umina SLSC