The weather is warming up and the swim season has officially started.
Last Saturday about 70 Wollongong City Council lifeguards started patrolling the city’s 17 beaches from Stanwell Park to Windang.
During the 2012-13 patrolling swim season, which ends on April 24, the council lifeguards’ daily patrols from Mondays to Saturdays will be complemented by volunteer surf lifesaver patrols on Sundays and public holidays.
The city’s pools will also open from 6am-6pm during the season.
At the launch of the swimming season, the council’s recreational services manager, Mark Bond, said the warmer weather was a timely reminder for beachgoers to follow beach safety rules this summer.
‘‘The longer term weather forecasts predict a warm, dry summer this year, so we are expecting to again see a lot of visitors to our beaches over the coming months,’’ Mr Bond said.
‘‘To make sure it’s also a safe summer on our beaches, council encourages beachgoers to only swim at patrolled beaches and always stay between the red-and-yellow flags and follow the simple, ‘No flags, no swim’ rule’.’’
Celebrating 100 years of service this season, the council’s lifeguard service has been further refined with the addition of new Honda and Kawasaki all-terrain vehicles and Yamaha jet skis.
‘‘We encourage beachgoers to be aware of the beach conditions, read and adhere to all safety signage and warnings and take caution when accessing and using our beaches,’’ Mr Bond said.
‘‘Council also offers a great community service to recreational swimmers at a range of fresh and saltwater pools throughout the city.’’