Tathra Beach on the New South Wales Far South Coast is the only community south of Mollymook offering endless summer safety to Canberra holidaymakers and day trippers right through summer.
This February when the flags are packed away on all other beaches, the Australian Life Guard Service will keep them flying high on Tathra Beach.
Working with the volunteers from the famous Tathra Surf Life Saving Club, Tathra Beach will again have life guards on duty seven days a week until February 25.
The tragic drowning deaths of at least 20 people in NSW waters during the 2017/18 holiday period has reinforced this grassroots extended summer safety campaign.
“This is the fourth summer where local businesses and community organisations have chipped in to keep the red and yellow flags flying past their normal end of January deadline,” says Rob White, Vice-President, Tathra & District Business Chamber.
“Combined with local volunteer patrols each weekend, we are the only beach north or south with life guards on duty seven days a week during February.”
Last summer, the extended beach patrols meant that life guards were on hand to perform 14 rescues along with over 700 preventative actions which typically include helping swimmers in danger.
Approximately 6200 people had fun on Tathra Beach last February, with the majority of the people coming from Canberra and Victoria.
The cost of keeping paid life guards on the golden sands of Tathra from Monday to Friday during February is in excess of $11,000, a cost-shared between twelve business houses and service organisations.
Sponsors include Tathra Business Chamber, Bega Chamber of Commerce, Tathra Lions Club, Tathra Beachside, Big4 Tathra Beach, Tathra Hotel, Tathra Beach House Apartments, Tathra Beach Bowling Club, Tathra Beach Country Club, On The Perch Bird Park, Bendigo Community Bank, and About Regional.
“When school goes back and our January visitors return to work, we see our most vulnerable guests visit Tathra – young families and senior travellers,” Rob says.
“Many of them come from Canberra and we feel a duty of care to these people.
“Providing a life guard service beyond the December – January service covered by Bega Valley Shire Council is a big part of that,” Rob says.
Recent events around the state have only served to strengthen the resolve of those behind the program.
“Our life guards are one of our greatest assets, and to have them keeping watch, ready to help, gives people comfort as they enjoy our beautiful local environment,” Rob says.
February also signals a start to off-peak accommodation rates.
“And what the locals will tell you is that February is the best time to visit Tathra – no crowds, cheaper rates, and the water is at its warmest,” Rob says.
Check visittathra.com.au for a range of accommodation options, holiday ideas, and activities.