City of Gold Coast Council has launched a new surf safety campaign targeting young men who don’t follow rules on local beaches.
It highlights the serious consequences of swimming at night, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and swimming outside the flags with no lifeguard patrols nearby.
“The Summer Surf Safety campaign has been created to confront dangerous behaviour on our beaches, aimed at young men aged between 17 and 35,” says Mayor Tom Tate.
“We want young people to realise that they aren’t invincible. The ocean doesn’t discriminate and just one bad decision may cost you your life.
“The message is simple: swim between the flags. If there are no lifeguards around don’t go in the water – it’s as simple as that.”
A new series of advertisements will feature local high school drama students and will air on TikTok, YouTube and streaming services which are popular with the younger demographic.
“Hopefully the campaign will be a much-needed reminder to our young locals and visitors who think about taking part in dangerous behaviour at the beach,” the Mayor said.
There have been six drownings – 80% are men aged between 18 and 35 – at Gold Coast surf beaches in the last two years, with all victims being young men swimming outside the flagged areas.
Surfers Paradise experiences more lifeguard rescues than any other beach on the Gold Coast, with tourist and day-trippers two and a half times more likely to need rescuing than locals, Council said in a statement.