IT has been a busy year on the beaches of the Hastings for local lifeguards who have reflected on the triumphs and challenges of the season.
Port Macquarie-Hastings lifeguard services rescued 57 people, delivered first aid 198 times, made 7110 preventative actions during the 2018 to 2019 season.
They also attended 37 incidents requiring ambulances.
Port Macquarie-Hastings lifeguard supervisor James Turnham said around 30 lifeguards had kept an eye on the beach this season.
"It's always a good group usually a mix of surfers, paramedic students or lifeguards that have been there for years and some fresh faces each season," he said.
"Some have been locals forever, a lot of them have come to Port Macquarie for university and pick up casual work."
There were bumper crowds at the beach for the Easter weekend this year compared to a lacklustre Christmas in 2018, said Mr Turnham.
"Luckily that doesn't happen very often and the last Easter Holidays made up for it with beautiful conditions and big numbers on the beach."
First season lifeguard, Mitch Hibbott, 20 said he'd enjoyed supervising the beach to ensure the safety of the public.
"It was really good, it's a good group of guys and I've learnt a lot about the beach and interacting with the public," he said.
"I'm at university studying to be a paramedic so I thought this would be a good step in my career.
"Learning how to manage emergency situations and dealing with the public in their times of crisis.
"Our work environment is constantly changing and you have to adapt to the conditions, constantly remain aware and focused because every second we could lose a member of the public under water or in a rip.
"I'd say my highlight would be just seeing members of the community every day at work, they're always happy at the beach having a good time and I enjoy seeing our regulars at the beach."
Lifeguards also assisted emergency agencies in searching for English and French tourists Hugo Palmer, 20, and Erwan Ferrieux, 21 after they went missing at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie on February 18.
Mr Turnham said lifeguards are sometimes faced with serious incidents during the season.
"Obviously some of our lifeguards are involved with some pretty heavy incidents but that's what we're trained to do," he said.
"Everyone deals with things differently and we all look out for each other, we have debriefs and we're a pretty good team.
"It's something that we can't really predict, the season before was a bad one with five drownings.
"That's more than usual but some seasons we have no drownings so we just have to be ready.
"(Over the off season) just check the forecast, know your ability, learn how to spot a rip and always swim with a friend."
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