Campaign to make Towradgi Beach safe

Surf lifesavers are campaigning to have a notorious stretch of Towradgi Beach declared a black spot, after the drowning death of an eight-year-old in January.

A strong rip dragged Illawarra Christian School student

The incident happened just after 6.30pm, while the beach was unpatrolled.

If declared a black spot, the area would qualify for extra funds from Surf Life Saving.

Illawarra Surf Life Saving duty officer Lachlan Pritchard said the area near the drowning was a known trouble spot.

"It is an area where significant events happen," he said.

"This may allow us to get more funding for the specific areas and maybe go back to [the] council and say we need more signage."

Illawarra Surf Life Saving deputy president Ken Holloway said any extra funding from the black spot initiative would welcome.

"If I had extra funding I would put it into extending the hours of patrolling," he said.

Eliachim's death followed the drowning of a teenager washed off rocks at Windang Island last October.

Last week, as the swimming season officially wrapped up, lifesavers reported a 34 per cent fall in the number of beach goers for the season due to unusually heavy summer rains.

About 252,500 people used Wollongong's beaches this summer compared with 387,640 the season before.

This week, the annual Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association will hold its annual conference in Wollongong.

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