PORT Macquarie will join other regional towns such as Newcastle and Coffs Harbour as locations to have 12-month lifeguard patrols.
The flags were meant to come down at Town Beach this weekend to mark the end of the swimming season, but they will now stay up throughout the colder months.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council lifeguard supervisor James Turnham said the community saw a need for it, although Town Beach will be the only stretch of sand in the Hastings which is patrolled all year round.
"Last winter there were 11 call outs in our usual off-season and in August alone there were six so having people at the beach will make a big difference," he said.
"Fifty percent of the rescues that happen in our whole council area happen here at Town Beach so imagine if there were no lifeguards ... the drowning statistics would be crazy."
The decision to keep the red and yellow flags up would also cut down on the response time for any potential rescue during April and October.
"By having it here at Town Beach means we've got storage for jet skis and our quad bike so if something happens at another beach nearby we've got guards here ready to go straight away," Mr Turnham said.
"There will still be call-out teams that come to back up but rather than it taking 15-20 minutes to get on the water, we can be on the water straight away.
"That gives the best possible chance of saving people."
In previous years the closest supervised beaches to Port Macquarie were located in Newcastle or Coffs Harbour.
"There are always people at the beach in the middle of winter," Mr Turnham said.
"Sometimes that's when we have the best conditions and Town Beach is protected most of the time from the southerly swell and southerly winds that are predominant in winter.
"By having a patrol here we're obviously accommodating swimmers, but there's so much else happening - cafes, surfers, boat traffic, the skate park ...
"Being central to the town for all the tourists is a good thing."
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