John Gass

Rough seas keep lifeguards on their toes

THE watchful eyes patrolling our beaches have been pleased with the behaviour of those hitting the surf so far these holidays.

The favourable conditions went south yesterday as strong winds roughed up choppy surf, but Surf Life Saving Queensland surf communications centre's Jacob Thomson said before that Coast beaches had been "extremely populated".

"It's been keeping our guys busy," he said.

"There have been a few suspected spinals, but they have all cleared of any injury.

"There have been a lot of preventative actions, which is the biggest part of our job, and we have also attended a few after-hours call outs where people hanging around later at night have got into trouble, but they have all resulted in a good outcome."

The rough weather had forced the closure of beaches at North Peregian, the Boardwalk and Marcoola.

The latter was reopened for the afternoon.

"Our biggest message to people out in these conditions is to keep both feet on the ground and not go out past your comfort (zone)," Mr Thomson said.

"Always remain between the red and yellow flags."

Surf Life Saving Queensland president Ralph Devlin said the only drowning that had occurred on the Sunshine Coast was the Korean tourist found in the Noosa canals on Boxing Day.

"Last year we had one drowning in the region from my peak period between December and January," he said.

"So far, unfortunately, we also have one this year."

The SLSQ website shows 12,553 first aid actions have been administered and 2829 rescues have been performed across the state.

Sunshine Coast-specific statistics would not be available until the New Year.

Although the volunteer surf lifesavers signed off on their final shift for 2015 yesterday, the professional lifeguards would continue working through until the new year.

Acting lifeguard supervisor Beau Farrell said although the weather had "picked up exponentially" yesterday, beachgoers had been sensible.

"We have done probably a dozen rescues over Christmas and Boxing Day at Currimundi and Wurtulla and there would have been dislocated shoulders and neck injuries between Noosa and Mooloolaba," he said.

"Those have mainly been from people not knowing when to pull off dumping waves."

Mr Farrell said he was relieved, despite the influx of visitors flocking to the beaches, people were heeding the message that no flags equalled no swim.

"The standard message is that if we can't see you, we can't save you," he said.

"It is certainly reassuring and refreshing that people are listening."

Mr Farrell encouraged people considering a swim during the rougher conditions to read noticeboards at the beach.

The Surf Life Saving Queensland Beach Safe app is also a valuable resource.

It provides an update on which beaches are closed and what conditions are like.