This weekend is the start of school holidays and the surf lifesaving season.

With a doubling in coastal drownings, Lifesaving Queensland warns it’s more important than ever to stay between the red and yellow flags.

Olivia Noakes reports.

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TRANSCRIPT

A new surf season a new Safety Plan.

Lifesaving Queensland today announcing a 24-hour emergency response network connecting police and surf rescue teams this Summer.

George Hill, Surf Lifesaving Queensland’s Lifesaving Services Manager: “If something goes wrong in the water we’re able to be tasked and called and respond nice and quick.”

The ambitious campaign is aimed at improving the safety of beachgoers across the State and reversing the current spike in accidental drowings.

Also planned are:

Waverunner patrols for Moreton Island
Roving patrols for Noosa North Shore
A “virtual” club for Brisbane residents to fill roster gaps
Enhanced communications for North Queensland clubs
Support to develop Bowen Surf Club

And there’ll be a strong emphasis on multilingual education campaigns.

Alyce Burnet, Volunteer Lifesaver: “So we get all the tourist and all the people who don’t really know how to swim properly, just like to come down and get in the surf and don’t really know the dangers of the surf.”

Foreign tourists accounted for 25 per cent of the fifteen deaths in Queensland since July 2009.

And state of the art technology will be installed right here on the beach this season. 22 upgraded monitoring cameras enabling more comprehensive coverage of beach conditions and help lifesavers locate swimmers.

We’ll be safer from the air too with an additional helicopter patrolling areas along Queensland’s coast.

But in the end, it’s up to us.

Neil Roberts, Police and Emergency Services Minister: “If you swim between the flags you’re going to get home safely at night and be able to go back to the beach the next day.”

Olivia Noakes, QUT News.