Beaches to remain open for now
SURF life saving clubs on the Surf Coast are considering whether to follow Sydney’s lead and close their beaches.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, and a ban on mass gatherings, large numbers of people still attended various beaches across the region.
Jan Juc SLSC president Aaron Green said while the club did not want to encourage people to visit the beach, he felt it was crucial they continue their services at present.
“One of the most important things to recognise is we’re part of Emergency Management Victoria.
“At the moment, volunteer lifesaving patrols account for about 30 per cent of aquatic rescues in the state. So, if we pull our services completely or prematurely, it’s going to place a greater burden on the ambulance and police’s first responders.
“They’re working with us to help us stay on the beach while it’s still safe to do so. LSV have given us guidance and procedures to help us do that in the interim.”
He noted the situation was quickly developing and things could change at short notice.
Torquay SLSC president Tiffany Quinlan said closing the beaches they patrol soon was a distinctive possibility.
“We’ve absolutely been considering it. LSV are presently discussing it, but a decision is likely to be made soon.”
However, Ms Quinlan said despite many people still visiting the beach, most appeared to be mindful of social distancing.
“People are behaving really well. There were a lot of people in the water and lots of surfers, but there weren’t people lying around on the beaches.”
Mr Green said most people at Jan Juc Beach had also been considerate of the circumstances.
“We were probably blessed it wasn’t super hot weather. People were generally behaving appropriately.
“The message is people shouldn’t be going to the beach other than if they’re going down by themselves to get some exercise.”