Opinions mixed on losing lifeguards

BEACHGOERS were divided in their opinions on Mondayon whether Newcastle City Council should post lifeguards on Newcastle beach all year round.
杭州桑拿

While many said they felt safer when there was a patrol on duty they also argued that swimmers should be held accountable for taking a risk when patrols were absent.

Jules Troyer, 23, moved to Newcastle from Ohio for work and said people should be mindful of conditions.

‘‘If you come here and see there’s no lifeguards then it’s all on you I think,’’ she said.

‘‘You can decide to be as safe as you want.’’

Her friend Zach Miskiewicz, of Mayfield, said he had been rescued by a lifeguard when he was younger but didn’t even notice there was no patrol at Newcastle beach yesterday.

‘‘It’s usually the experienced swimmers and surfers that are here [in the off-season] so I can understand why [the lifeguards are] not here [now],’’ he said.

Yet Lisa Simpson, who lives in Newcastle East and has two small children under the age of three, said she felt council had a duty to patrol the beach all year.

‘‘I’m from Wollongong and they patrol there during winter and there are a few beaches around here that are very dangerous,’’ she said.

‘‘I find it unusual because I’d say there are less people at some of the beaches that are manned than at Newcastle beach.’’

Jill Hutchinson, 27, agreed and pointed out that Newcastle beach attracted foreigners from the city’s backpacker hostels as well as people from outer suburbs who caught the train into town.

‘‘It’s been incredibly warm this spring already,’’ she said.

‘‘And it’s surprising how many people there are in Australia who don’t know how to swim.’’

SAFETY: Texan Ryan Berry, left, 18, Jules Troyer, 23 from Ohio, Zac Miskiewicz, 17, and Elley Clements, 19, both of Mayfield. Picture: Peter Stoop

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