Port Macquarie swimmers have made a safe return to the water as the official beach-going season ramped up.
Bumper crowds of school holiday tourists enjoyed the surf over the October long weekend, according to Port Macquarie-Hastings lifeguard supervisor James Turnham.
Almost 3000 people attended the first day of the season for lifeguard patrols at Town Beach in Port Macquarie on Saturday, September 28.
"Generally we are pretty happy. It's a busy period right now in a long weekend of the school holidays," Mr Turnham said.
"There's plenty of tourists and the majority of them are doing the right thing.
"There is a handful of people who aren't aware of where they should swim, so we just have to remind them where they should be swimming.
"It's a simple message that swimming between the red and yellow flags is safe and also helps the lifeguards manage the beach because it's a smaller area to watch."
Lifeguard and volunteer surf life saving patrols have resumed on Town Beach, Flynns Beach, Rainbow Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Lake Cathie and North Haven.
"There has been a handful of minor rescues from people drifting out of the flags towards rocks," he said.
"There has been a couple of ambulances required for dislocated shoulders and broken bones but there are more accidental situations from falling off while surfing.
"Whether you're swimming or surfing at the beach it's a good idea to be in a patrolled area because we have all the rescue equipment and we can help no matter what has happened."
People should always know their ability before they go into the water, he said.
"It's also the time of the season when brown snakes are starting to hang out on the dunes, especially beaches like Lighthouse Beach.
"Lifeguards want to remind parents to keep their children away from the sand dunes because there has been a lot of brown snakes reported."
During the 2018 to 2019 season, Port Macquarie-Hastings lifeguard services rescued 57 people, delivered first aid 198 times and made 7110 preventative actions.
They also attended 37 incidents requiring ambulances.
There have been six drowning incidents on the NSW coastline since July 1, 2019.
On October 6, a 53 year-old man drowned after pulled from the water at Uranga Beach, south of Coffs Harbour.
"It's sad to hear there has been a couple of drownings. However this is the holiday period and there are a lot more people at our beaches, things like that can happen," said Mr Turnham.
"The chances of that happening are reduced by swimming between the flags."
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