Cracking party but NYE revellers behave

Wollongong and Lake Illawarra police have praised the behaviour of New Year's revellers who rang in 2013 at events and parties across the region.

Despite huge crowds at Belmore Basin for Wollongong's major festivities, there were no major incidents.

"Police were quite happy with the way everyone behaved," Acting Inspector Don Faulds said.

"Festivities went well at Belmore Basin, there were no real issues.

GALLERY: New Year's Eve in the Gong

"It was a good way to start the new year."

It was a similar story at Lake Illawarra Area Command, where few incidents of antisocial behaviour was a pleasant surprise for police.

"On the whole they were pretty well behaved," Inspector Andrew Koutsoufis said.

"We're happy with the majority of local revellers."

Officers were out in force yesterday breath-testing motorists and will hit the roads again today.

More than 1000 RBTs were conducted by Wollongong police on New Year's Eve, with officers catching out six drivers who were allegedly over the limit. Four were in the low range, one in the mid range and one in the high range, while another motorist was charged with driving while disqualified.

Meanwhile, ambulance paramedics attended a steady stream of medical emergencies through the night and yesterday.

Paramedics were called to a Fernhill address just before 11pm on New Year's Eve after a report fireworks had ignited a 15-year-old girl's dress, burning her legs. Her injuries were immediately treated by family, who placed her in a bath before paramedics arrived.

She was taken to Wollongong Hospital in a stable condition.

Although many of the region's paramedics spent time at the beach yesterday, they were all hard at work treating scores of patients stung by bluebottles. An 18-month-old baby was treated by paramedics for a sting at Fairy Meadow Beach about 1.45pm, while just 15 minutes later a three-year-old was treated at Werri Beach, Gerringong.

Bluebottles were a big headache for surf lifesavers yesterday, a problem exacerbated by the huge crowds at the beaches.

Volunteers also made several rescues, including one involving three people at Bombo Beach about 5pm.

Surf Life Saving Illawarra duty officer Lachlan Pritchard said it had been a busy day, but that rescues were down on last New Year's Day. Between Helensburgh and Windang yesterday volunteers carried out 15 rescues, a dramatic drop on the 99 rescues last January 1.

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