Aircraft ‘fly’ between the flags to promote beach safety

Brisbane International Airport has been dressed for the beach, with red and yellow flags on the airfield and lifesavers inside the terminal, welcoming international passengers and encouraging them to swim in between the flags.

Airport Drive also now features the lifesaving ‘cube’, encouraging visitors to stay safe, and the International Terminal contains banners and lifesaver mannequins, and multi-lingual flyers to raise awareness of the message. The campaign will run through summer into the New Year.

Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading, Hon. Peter Lawlor MP, launched the campaign, in an effort to educate international tourists about beach safety in the lead up to summer.

“Our beautiful beaches draw millions of people to our sunshine state every year, and we want our visitors to know how to enjoy them and stay safe at the same time,” he said.

During the 2009/2010 patrol season, Surf Life Saving Queensland performed 3,906 rescues and carried out 291,322 preventative actions.

“There are some simple rules people can follow to stay safe: Find the flags and swim between them; Look at the safety signs; Ask a lifesaver for advice; Get a friend to swim with you; Stick your hand up for help if you’re in trouble,” Minister Lawlor said.

A record 19.4 million passengers flew through Brisbane Airport last year; 4.1 million of those were International passengers.

Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Limited (BAC) General Manager Commercial Services, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said with passenger numbers already on the rise through July and August, a record summer for passenger numbers could also be expected.

“We’re expecting to have approximately 6 percent more passengers flying into Brisbane to visit Queensland and its beaches, so we’ve been working closely with Surf Life Saving Queensland and the State Government to encourage people to swim between the flags,” Mr de Graaff said.

People can also donate money to Surf Life Saving at the International Terminal, or visit www.lifesavingfoundation.com.au