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Lifesavers on high alert as Tasmania braces for sweltering hot summer

Pulse Tasmania
Surf Life Saving volunteers at Sandy Bay Beach on Friday. Image / Pulse

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning Tasmanians of an ‘unusually hot summer’ ahead, with factors like El Niño contributing to an increase in extreme heat and heatwave conditions.

The Bureau’s announcement has prompted health services and lifesavers to prepare early.

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The BOM say there is a more than 50% chance of the state experiencing these unusually hot conditions, particularly around the north-east of Tasmania.

Dr Mark Veitch from Public Health is urging people to stay alert to the risks of heat-related illnesses this summer, especially among the elderly and those with chronic health issues.

Dr Mark Veitch. Image / Pulse

During heatwaves, ambulance callouts can surge by up to 30%.

With more Tasmanians expected to flock to beaches this summer due to the cost of living, around 800 surf lifesaving volunteers are gearing up for an intense season.

Tasmanian marine and Surf Life Saving leaders at Sandy Bay Beach on Friday. Image / Pulse

These volunteers are essential in managing the safety of beachgoers, as Tasmanians are never more than an ocean or lake.

Surf Life Saving Tasmania have raised a particular concern for the 18 to 25 age group, who they say are often overrepresented in risk-taking activities at these locations.

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Last year, lifesavers dedicated a total of 23,000 hours to patrolling the state’s waterways, assisting 2,400 people in need.

With the anticipated increase in beachgoers, people are being urged to swim between the flags and stay informed about beach conditions through apps like Beach Safe.

WHAT TO DO THIS SUMMER:

  • Check the weather before planning water-related activities.
  • Where possible swim between the red and yellow flags at a patrolled beach.
  • Stop, Look, and Plan before you enter the water.
  • Swim with company so someone is always looking out for you.
  • Learn about rip currents and how to identify them and safely get out of one.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when engaging in water activities.
  • Constantly supervise children near water.
  • Wear a lifejacket while rock fishing or using paddlecraft.
  • Visit beachsafe.org.au for beach safety information and the location of the nearest patrolled beach

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