SURF Life Saving NSW clubs will begin beach patrols from this weekend, September 18 and 19. This includes the six clubs in the Lower North Coast Branch, Crowdy Head, Taree Old Bar, Black Head, Forster, Cape Hawke and Pacific Palms. Lower North Coast Surf Life Saving Branch president, Brian Wilcox, said despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, the team qA equipped and ready for the coming summer months. "Spending time at the beach is a quintessential part of summer in Australia, and after a rough year of lockdowns and restrictions, we know locals are looking forward to the warmer weather and feeling the sand beneath their feet,'' Mr Wilcox said. "We've worked hard to ensure the necessary COVID-19 plans are in place, and that our volunteers have the equipment and training they need, for our beaches to stay open and safe this summer," he said. "In one of our most challenging years, this would not have been possible without the help of our long-term partner, Newcastle Permanent." There are 1900 local volunteer surf lifesavers enlisted to help protect Lower North Coast beachgoers this summer. Newcastle Permanent regional manager, Adam Power said the organisation was proud to continue its long-standing partnership with Lower North Coast Surf Lifesaving, which was now in its 16th year. "As a customer-owned organisation, we're passionate about supporting local community groups that help make our community great," he said. "We're delighted to help provide equipment and training volunteers need to protect beachgoers each year, but also to make the recruitment, training and retention of junior surf lifesavers possible. "Volunteer surf lifesavers play a vital role in keeping our local community safe and it's a privilege to support the dedicated Lower North Coast team as they don their caps and hit the sand again this year." The official surfing season runs until April. Did you know? Great Lakes Advocate online subscribers not only have 24/7 access to local and national news, sport, what's on and entertainment - they also have access to our print editions in digital format, with all the advertisements and classifieds at their fingertips.