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Increase in ocean deaths prompts Christmas beach warning

Gareth Parker
Article image for Increase in ocean deaths prompts Christmas beach warning

Western Australians are expected to flock to beaches over the Christmas period with some warm temperatures expected across the state.

Surf Lifesaving WA general manager Chris Peck told 6PR Breakfast “It is such a quintessential thing to go down to the beach on Christmas day.”

“We are lucky to have this really good weather where we are going to be able to enjoy it,” he said.

But beachgoers are being urged to take extra precautions at the beach this holiday season.

“The number of drownings and ocean deaths that we have had … is up over 100 per cent,” he said.

“Shark sighting and detections are up at the moment so people do need to take precautions.”

There has already been 14 coastal deaths in WA so far this year.

“Despite what the conditions might show, people over estimate their ability and underestimate the conditions,” Mr Peck said.

“We don’t want any more tragedies and families suffering particularly over the Christmas period.

“Choose a patrolled location, because we want you between those red and yellow flags.

“Swimming and alcohol at the beach do not mix, and we encourage you not to do that.”

Surf Lifesaving WA are encouraging everyone to download the Shark Smart App and check for patrolled beaches on the mybeach.com.au website.

Click play to hear the full interview.

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Gareth Parker
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