By Ron Lane
This weekend when the flags go up our beaches will be under control of our brothers in surf the Lifeguards. We wish them well and call on the general public to observe the flagged areas and remember that if you have a problem just talk to the Lifeguards. Talking to you is part of the job.
While thinking of beach safety just a word of caution; if when walking the beautiful Noosa National Park or any other scenic area and you are thinking of taking photographs of family or friends standing on the rock areas close to the surf-DON’T!
It is sad but true that many well-meaning family members have lost a loved one who when, posing on the rocks, back turned to the surf, has been caught by a big wave and washed off.
The recent death of two lifesavers who perished while in the process of performing a rescue in big surf in a dangerous situation, should we hope, make people stop and think of what they are doing. Enjoy the scenic walks but keep it safe.
During the season the Noosa club was lucky not to lose a patrol member when in performing a rescue he had to leave the safety of the IRB patrol boat and swim through big surf to rescue a man off the rocks in the unpatrolled National Park. The sudden arrival of the Jet Rescue Ski patrol to render support enabled the patrol man to perform his duty and save the life of both the patient and himself.
The lesson for all to remember is that rocky outcrops and big surf are definitely a dangerous combination for photography and not worth the life of a friend: or even worst, the life of a lifesaver or lifeguard.
On Sunday our beaches were privileged to have a visit from our newly formed Surf Awareness Team. This team of two lifesavers Annie Luxford from Mooloolaba and Nick Hodgson from Kawana move around the beaches talking to people about safety and also hand out sunscreen and other goodies. This on- going education is definitely a step in the right direction for with the massive increase in beach visitation our work to teach surf awareness must also be on the increase. Similar teams have been operating successfully on the Gold Coast.
Travelling from beach to beach their Surf Awareness Vehicle is recognizable by the bright red and yellow colors of our beach patrols. Also it is fully equipped for a rescue procedure should an emergency occur during their travels. As stated this is a new concept and should be applauded.
Last week members of the Noosa club gathered to bid a sad Farwell to Ian McDonald who passed away after a short illness. Affectional known as Macca he served for several years on the Surf Club Board of Directors and also as a patrolling radio operator. To his wife and family we convey our deepest sympathy and our support.
Another who will be sadly missed not only the Noosa Old Boys but a large number of our local beach goers will be Betty Wallace. This remarkable much loved lady was known as the creator of the famous Bettys Burgers; made and served for years from a small shop at Noosa’s Main Beach and sold for $1.
She once told me while visiting with my family for our weekly session of Bettys Burgers on the beach, ‘’I just want to make a good burger that will not cost the kids an arm and a leg.”Betty achieved both; now sadly missed she will never be forgotten.