'Anyone can get into trouble': Surf lifesaver's dire warning
A SENIOR lifesaver says more people are choosing to swim in dangerous conditions as a result of the increased popularity of remote beaches near Byron Bay.
NSW Surf Life Saving duty officer, Jimmy Keough, made the comments a day after a man drowned at Kings Beach, south of Broken Head.
"These beaches are very well promoted through social media and are often in the limelight due to celebrities in the area," he said.
But Mr Keough said celebrities were not to blame.
"These remote and beautiful beaches and often touted as a tropical paradise," he said.
"But being in a remote location they can also be subject to the dangerous conditions seen along many beaches on the coast."
He said even experienced swimmers can get into strife and need assistance.
"These are very dynamic beach areas regarding rips and sweeps, often with a sandy beach, a rocky outcrop, submerged rocks and large swell drawn into the beach," he said.
"It's tragic that we do all this work and people still choose to swim in remote locations."
Mr Keough said people needed to take responsibility for their decisions about when and where to swim.
"It does not matter if you are a local or a visitor, anyone can get into trouble which is why we recommend you always swim between the flags at a patrolled beach," he said.
"We still find a trend of locals going to traditional beaches which are more accessible, but people on holidays want the remote Australian beach experience."
He said the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter had responded numerous times to those back-beaches south of Broken Head, including Brays, Kings and Whites beaches.
"There's often limited coverage in the areas, sometimes it's non-existent, which is an added concern," he said.
Mr Keough said SLS Far North Coast undertook surveillance patrols along the coastline and any incidents at these remote beaches involved members of Byron Bay and Lennox Head surf clubs.