HUNDREDS of volunteers who patrol Hastings beaches over summer were honoured on Saturday as the flags officially went up to mark the start of surf life saving season.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams officially opened the season on Flynns Beach on September 23 with mayor Peta Pinson and representatives of Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast.
Mrs Williams said the government had invested $16 million in technology to keep area beaches safe and the drone project is one of them.
“It’s the hundreds of volunteers however who patrol our beaches every weekend that make sure we are safe,” Mrs Williams said.
“It is predicted to be a really hot summer and our beaches are going to be packed. I thank you all now for the work that you do.”
Special guest and surf club veteran Chalkie Bob Smith was in attendance along with members and volunteers from surf clubs across the Hastings.
This year, to assist lifesavers and volunteers, Surf Life Saving New South Wales with the support of Port Macquarie Hastings Council will introduce the Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver UAV (Drone) to patrol over the busy school holiday period.
The world first technology will see enhanced patrolling ability to monitor and assist patrols, enhancing the safety of beachgoers.
Until Tuesday, September 26, local volunteers from the SLS Mid North Coast Branch will be on hand with SLSNSW and the Westpac Little Ripper Team in the Glasshouse Forecourt to talk about all aspects of Surf Life Saving and beach safety and the new UAV technology.
The Glasshouse information stand will be open each day from 10am-2pm and will also be at Town Beach for the Cricket NSW Beach Blast from 9am to 12 noon on Wednesday, September 27.
SLSNSW will also be offering free CPR courses at its Central Road HQ between September 25-27.
The courses are fully accredited and you can register at the Glasshouse information stand or email firstname.lastname@example.org.