31 January 2023

Tathra Beach to be patrolled throughout February thanks to local businesses, community

| Lisa Herbert
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Two lifesavers

Tathra’s surf lifesaver patrols will extend to 5 March for 2023. Photo: Dave Rogers.

It has been a busy 2022-2023 summer for surf club volunteers and lifeguards on NSW beaches, with many rescues and shark sightings.

While midweek patrols cease on most Sapphire Coast beaches at the end of January, Tathra beachgoers can rest assured beach patrols will continue through February.

As with previous years, Tathra Beach will be patrolled throughout February, seven days a week, with Tathra Surf Club volunteers patrolling on the weekends. Professional lifeguards from Australian Lifeguard Services will patrol Monday to Friday.

February is a busy period on popular Tathra Beach, with warmer water and more calm days than January.

Many people choose to take a break from work during February to avoid the busier holiday period.

Locals of course take advantage of the great, less-crowded beach conditions in February, and Tathra is a destination for an increasing number of school groups visiting for coastal excursions.

Lifesaver watching swimmers

Tathra Beach swimmers will be provided with watchful eyes this February. Photo: Dave Rogers.

Rob White, of the Tathra business community, says: “The surf lifesaving organisations always advise beach visitors to swim between the flags, and we promote our region as a coastal and beach destination, so it is very important that our visitors and locals have a safe patrolled beach option during February.”

The Monday-to-Friday patrols on Tathra Beach are paid for by Tathra businesses, licensed clubs, community organisations and individual families.

Funds raised reach about $15,000, which is then paid to Bega Valley Shire Council, which pays Australian Lifeguard Services.

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Patrolling on weekdays this February will once again be experienced and dedicated lifeguard Tony McCabe, assisted by local lifesavers, many of whom learned their skills as volunteers with Tathra Surf Club. Tony will also be updating surf conditions daily on the surf club’s social media.

The Tathra business community has been supporting the extended patrols since 2015, a decision prompted by several beach tragedies.

In what was originally a trial supported by some grant funding arranged by Bega Valley Council, all funds are now raised by the Tathra Community with no financial support from the council.

This year the extended midweek patrols will run up to the Wharf to Waves ocean swim event on the weekend of 4 and 5 March.

Wharf to Waves is a volunteer-run event that also feeds monies raised back to the community, including the Tathra Primary School, Tathra Surf Club, and Tathra Preschool. It last took place in 2019.

open-water swimming race

Why not take the plunge and join the Tathra Wharf to Waves event? Photo: Supplied.

In 2023, the Wharf to Waves organisation partnered with batyr to make a difference in the Bega Valley. batyr is a for-purpose preventive mental health organisation created and driven by young people for young people.

With Tathra Beach being patrolled throughout February, why not jump in and train for this popular ocean swim? There are several events: 600m and 1200m swims, a 23km bike ride and a 2km fun run.

This year, businesses and community organisations supporting the February beach patrols include Tathra Lions Club, Tathra Chamber of Commerce, Tathra Beach House, Tathra Beachside, Tasman Big 4 Tathra, Tathra Hotel, Tathra Beach Real Estate, The Tiny Zoo, Kianinny Bush Cottages, Tathra Beach Bowling Club, Tathra Beach Country Club, and Tathra Beach Eco Camp.

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