STAY SAFE: Lifeguard Nick Bolton, on duty at Mooloolaba Beach, has seen his fair share of incidents involving children.
STAY SAFE: Lifeguard Nick Bolton, on duty at Mooloolaba Beach, has seen his fair share of incidents involving children. Patrick Woods

Lifesavers' plea to parents after record child drownings

IN THE wake of a confronting beach safety campaign, Sunshine Coast surf lifesavers say parents need to keep a more watchful eye on their children.

Surf Life Saving Queensland released an educational video last week, in collaboration with Griffith University students, as part of a new campaign - Don't Let Your Child Become a Drowning Statistic.

The video features a mother not paying proper attention to her daughter as she gets into trouble in the surf at a secluded beach. When the mother finally looks up, her daughter has vanished.

"Please supervise your children and avoid swimming alone" is a key message, along with "always swim between the flags".

The video, gathering momentum on social media, follows new data that shows there have been 441 rescues on the Sunshine Coast since July 1.

A total of 59 of those rescues have involved children under 10 years old.

In Queensland, there have been 953 rescues, 173 involving children aged under 10, since July 1.

Sunshine Coast lifesaving coordinator Jacob Thomson said the region had seen an increase of children getting into trouble without adequate supervision.

"Scenarios like that are happening more and more often, which is pretty concerning," he said.

"They can be confronting and traumatic for everyone involved, particularly for people witnessing it on the beach.

"It's certainly upsetting for lifeguards."

Earlier this month, a teenager was pulled unconscious from the water at Mooloolaba by a member of the public.

Aided by lifeguards, including Mr Thomson, CPR was performed on the teen for several minutes before he regained conciousness.

"From what we gather, he was dumped by one of the larger waves and lost his bodyboard, we didn't see him come back up," lifeguard supervisor Trent Robinson said.

The 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but was stable in intensive care the next day.

Does more need to be done to protect children on the beach?

This poll ended on 27 January 2019.

Current Results

Parents should take more responsibility.

90%

Lifesavers can't do everything.

0%

More education on beach safety is needed.

10%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Thomson said while the near-miss was confronting, lifesavers were almost "used to" being part of those kinds of situations.

"With our lifeguards and lifesavers trying to deal with situations like that, we're trained to handle it," he said.

"I've had a few (near-misses) now, but it's something you get used to unfortunately."

Lifesavers are urging Coast parents to be more vigilant and not let their children swim in the surf alone.

There have been 30 drownings recorded nationwide in the past 25 days.