Surf Lifesaving Queensland today launched a surf safety campaign targeting international visitors.

Passengers will watch videos and receive brochures in a bid to curb the drowning rate on our beaches.

Phoebe Clark has this report.

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TRANSCRIPT

Brisbane’s International Airport was covered in lifesaving banners and posters to create more awareness about beach safety.

The new campaign aims to improve the safety of international tourists, who made up one third of the 82 drowning deaths that occurred between 2009 and 2010.

Peter Lawlor, Qld Tourism Minister: “It’s the perfect time as we see them arriving now to introduce them to the beach safety message and the need to swim between the flags.”

The number of international visitors who have drowned has increased significantly since 2006.

Lifesavers say they are often overconfident in their swimming ability, lacking in experience, and generally unaware of the dangers.

Geoff Hill, Chief Operator Surf Life Saving Queensland:”Some of the people that aren’t strong at swimming or aren’t aware of the strong current or waves we have, particularly in South East Queensland, that’s a concern.”

Six airlines have agreed to help promote the campaign, showing surf safety videos to passengers as they arrive.

Gert-Jan de Graaff, General Manager Corporate Services Brisbane Airport Corporation: “We’re the gateway into Queensland for those international visitors. So we’re very excited to be part of this initiative, and as you can see this is the perfect place to do things like this.”

Volunteer patrols began on the weekend and run through until April.

Phoebe Clark, QUT News.