Beach laws bylaws and lifeguard powers?

ZT's picture
ZT started the topic in Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 at 11:59am

Where can I find the laws relating to the beach/rangers/lifeguards etc? I have tried talking to Manly council but have got nowhere, they just refer to the endless pit of legal acts and stuff but without detailing anything.
All I want to know is what can the NSW Council lifeguards and rangers actually do and what are the laws?

rule303's picture
rule303's picture
rule303 commented Friday, 20 Nov 2015 at 8:40pm

ZT wrote: Where can I find the laws relating to the beach/rangers/lifeguards etc? I have tried talking to Manly council but have got nowhere, they just refer to the endless pit of legal acts and stuff but without detailing anything.
All I want to know is what can the NSW Council lifeguards and rangers actually do and what are the laws?

Lifeguards are employed by their local council , so they are council laws.
ZT reply with the acts Manly council quoted. What was the issue.?
Easier if we have more info.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2015 at 10:10am

My understanding is that they can confiscate equipment and issue fines. My experience is that most would rather not since it creates a lot of work for no real benefit. So unless you blatantly and persistently breach the rules you should be OK. If you think you have been treated unfairly take it up with the council or contest the fine.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2015 at 5:56pm

Amazing the difference growing up in SA, where the concept of clubbie/surfer rivalry simply didn't exist. Obviously it's a much different setup to the East Coast but South Oz surfers generally have little to no interaction with surf clubs unless they chose to participate directly. 

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2015 at 6:13pm

I'll never forget sitting out at Point Lookout back bank with a clubby aka weekend warrior roaring around the lineup on a jet ski.
He ended up sitting about 5 metres upwind of me and I said something like "Hey mate, you've got 37km of beach, would you mind going somewhere else?"
He said "Fuck you, if you're drowning you'll be the last cunt I save".
What an ambassador!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2015 at 7:24pm

ben the rivalry with the clubbies on the NB was pretty much over by 1980 most of the beach inspectors by that time were surfers. One of the North Narrabeen crew, the late Robert O'Brien, was in charge of them and played a huge role in changing attitudes. He had grown up surfing with the Mark Warren, Grant Oliver, Col Smith generation and stopped all the stupid authoritarian nonsense that had caused the problems in the first place. The clubs had to work with the inspectors so they changed as well. Nick Carroll and co also had a big impact by breaking down the boundaries at Newport.

ZT's picture
ZT's picture
ZT commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 7:31am

rule303 wrote:
ZT wrote: Where can I find the laws relating to the beach/rangers/lifeguards etc? I have tried talking to Manly council but have got nowhere, they just refer to the endless pit of legal acts and stuff but without detailing anything.
All I want to know is what can the NSW Council lifeguards and rangers actually do and what are the laws?

Lifeguards are employed by their local council , so they are council laws.
ZT reply with the acts Manly council quoted. What was the issue.?
Easier if we have more info.

I've contacted council, filled in forms to request the relevant bylaws etc so will wait, not holding out much hope.
The reason I am enquiring is the result of an incident a few weeks ago. 5.25pm paddled out in a rip north of the flags, but next to the rocks, which I know is not allowed but the beach was deserted and there were no swimmers. Made my way out through the filth that was coming out of the lagoon, across the break making my way south, stopped just passed the flags but inside the buffer zone and chatted with a few surfers. Lifeguard paddled out and immediately confronted us very aggressively and rudely, we were like, 'ok mate we're moving, we haven't taken any waves' etc etc, he continued to abuse us, one guy paddled away leaving me slowly making my way south, sitting on my board, I said it's ok mate, you've done your job now we are all going. He said "i'll take your board and you'll get a fine if you don't move faster', I told him he can't touch me, he got more and more abusive and was sitting about 4 metres in front of me when he jumped to his knees, paddled towards me fast, as the nose of his plastic torpedo reached me he swung it violently into my side pushing me off my board. So after the assault I just told him that was a very stupid thing to do, he was swearing and just going off. The whole time this went on I was not rude and didn't swear or abuse him in any way. By the way, the buffer zone marker was the furthest I have ever seen it placed from the southern flag, easily 150metres. I have surfed Manly for 19 years and have never experienced anything like his totally unprovoked behaviour. I fully admitted to him that I shouldn't have paddled out in the rip and will move out of the zone, he didn't care and appeared to just want to shout and harass us.

ZebT

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 7:39am

ZT, you were assaulted, get this on police record asap..any witnesses ?
Whaaat may advise on legals ?

ZT's picture
ZT's picture
ZT commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 8:11am

udo wrote: ZT, you were assaulted, get this on police record asap..any witnesses ?
Whaaat may advise on legals ?

The only witness was a foamy rider who just paddled away, the pack was about 50metres away so no luck unfortunately.
I spoke with the Manly police later that evening just to run it by them as I was bloody angry, they said the same thing, 'any witnesses?'. Of course if I took it further I'm sure I would be discredited for being in the wrong and the idiot lifeguard would give his 'version' of the story.

ZebT

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 9:00am

ZT - see this link, has info re: policies and links to legislation (down the bottom / last page):

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0...

I'd start with a copy of the "Manly Council Ocean Lifeguard Service Operations Manual" ;)

ALSO, fwiw, as an employee of the council (Manly employ their own lifeguards year round - as per the council website) the clubby in question will be bound by the code of conduct for council employees. You can find it on this page of the council website: http://www.manly.nsw.gov.au/council/policies-and-codes2/

And, if you look at 3.1 (e) on the top of page 4 it reads:

" ... causes, comprises or involves intimidation, harassment or verbal abuse."

Which by the sounds of your incident is exactly what happened.

Write a complaint to the Mayor. Set out all details and facts. The council must then investigate, which in turn means a shit load of paperwork and hassle for the clubby wanker ;)

Oh, yeah and seriously consider going back to the Police and have a formal report of the "assault", let the Police decide if they want to charge the guy, but say YES, if they ask you if you are prepared to go to court...

You can then use the formal report reference # in your letter to the Mayor. Guarantees an "oh fuck" moment for said clubby :)

PS: Yep, growing up as an east coast, mid north coast grommet I have a permanent lifetime memory scar of the dickhead antics of clubbies and their overzealous self appointed authority. I see similar ongoing attitudes around today from Mid North NSW to SE Qld. To be fair, there are some who are genuinely trying to do a good community service, but there are still too many overly zealous wankers.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

crip's picture
crip's picture
crip commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 9:17am

Sounds like good advice Wingnut.
ZT: was he a council lifeguard or a Manly LSC clubbie?
I'd also send complaints to the Manly LSC (http://manlylsc.com/manly-lsc) and maybe the SLSA, including a description of the person. If he was not a Manly LSC member then I'm sure they would be quick to disown him.
They might be keen to smooth things over.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 11:00am

ZT sounds like it was at Queenscliff. Are you sure it wasn't Tony Abbbott? He's a member there and has been a bit angry lately they tell me.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 11:47am

ZT, you mentioned lifeguard. Suggest contact the Council and document the event. Make sure all councillors get the message. It would useful to get the name of the lifeguard. He may have drank too much salt water.

ZT's picture
ZT's picture
ZT commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 12:23pm

Thanks for the info Wingnut.
It was at Queensie and it was a council lifeguard.
I know I probably should pursue it but as there were no witnesses willing to back me up it will come to nothing and I will have to go through a load of hassle to do it.

ZebT

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 1:35pm

Nah fuck him, a letter to the head lifeguard to start with.......its probably not the first time he has done it-
rude aggressive behaviour and assault ,nope not on .

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 4:24pm

Start the paper trail ZT, for next time or the next person.
Keep the prick honest.

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 4:36pm

Hey ZT, I here ya, it's hassle, your word against his etc. .... BUT, as udo and AndyM have suggested, this won't have been his first, or likely his last. A few complaints soon add to a trend. You may find you're not the first ;)

Your complaint to council - note: MUST be to the council direct as the council employ the lifeguards (it's all over their website) - could be the difference between this tool doing it again and hurting someone, or getting a dose of reality and pulling his head in ... If, as I'd suspect, he has a track record, this could be the nail in coffin for him, and so too the end of any more angst for the public and other lifeguards.

All it takes is a letter - you can smash that out over a couple of beers one afternoon. I'll bet it takes less time than stripping the wax off a board and putting on a new fresh coat of wax. So, go on, ZT, write that letter and prove the pen is mightier than the sword (or in this case, mightier than the clubby wanker surfboard) :)

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

ZT's picture
ZT's picture
ZT commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 4:46pm

I'll give it a bash. Hate the thought of him doing it to someone else.
Cheers.

ZebT

rule303's picture
rule303's picture
rule303 commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 5:47pm

MAY NOT USE FORCE TO DO SO
https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/Practice-Note-No15-Water-...
Confiscation of water-based recreational equipment
Confiscation of water-based recreational equi
pment is a unique situation in that this power may be exercised by a member of a surf life saving organisation who has been appropriately authorised by the council.
Under section 681A of the Local Government
Act, the power to confiscate water-
based recreational equipment may be exercised by:

an employee of the council authorised by the council in writing to carry out this
function; or

a police officer; or

a member of a surf life saving organisation who is authorised by the council in
writing to carry out this function. If water-based recreational equipment is being used in contravention of notices erected by the council under section 633 of the Act, an authorised person can give a
warning that the misuse must stop. If the misuse continues the authorised person
may confiscate the equipment, but may not use force to do so

REPEAT MAY NOT USE FORCE TO DO SO

Other offences under the Local Government Act

wilfully obstructing water safety personnel, duly authorised by a council, in
carrying out their functions (s660).
Any person, including water safety personnel who are not employees of the council,
may request that people comply with these provisions of the Act. However, if any
person refuses that request, only an appropriately authorised council employee can
enforce compliance. Police help may besought if the council employee is not
available

ZT based on your version of events the lifeguard was way outside their realm of authority . And you were complying so no further action was required by the tool
As others have stated write to council also make a statement to police also check
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/lga1993182/

Bikhu's picture
Bikhu's picture
Bikhu commented Monday, 16 May 2016 at 5:41pm

I live at Manly beach and have grown up on Sydney beaches northern and eastern for 50 years. Ive never liked the surf club culture. I appreciate that they are doing a good job watching over people who need them but at Manly in summer they have become militant. I usually tell them to piss off if they start blowing their whistle at me. Go back to your flagged area and save people who need it i.e. tourists and people with kids and leave the locals in peace. Never swum between the flags and never will. They are like a bunch of idiotic cowboys. They use publicly funded equipment such as the rubber dinghy to burn up and down the beach having joyrides, they have loud speakers through which they tell people to wear sunscreen! At the slightest sign of a few waves they put up signs declaring "beach closed fines apply" But they cannot issue fines and when we asked them about it they were clueless. We purposely swim right in front of their stupid signs as an up yours to authority. The beaches are owned by no-one and after 50 years of swimming where I want no-one is going to tell me where I can and can't swim. Its particularly irritating when its some teenager from the western suburbs who's young enough to be my grandchild. They are seriously like annoying flies. I quite often drive to other beaches that are less militant now because manly life guards have made the beach like a nanny state.

Bikhu's picture
Bikhu's picture
Bikhu commented Monday, 16 May 2016 at 5:51pm

mistake

Bikhu's picture
Bikhu's picture
Bikhu commented Monday, 16 May 2016 at 5:49pm

I live at Manly beach and have grown up on Sydney beaches northern and eastern for 50 years. Ive never liked the surf club culture. I appreciate that they are doing a good job watching over people who need them but at Manly in summer they have become militant. I usually tell them to piss off if they start blowing their whistle at me. Go back to your flagged area and save people who need it i.e. tourists and people with kids and leave the locals in peace. Never swum between the flags and never will.

They behave like a bunch of idiotic cowboys. They use publicly funded equipment such as the rubber dinghy to burn up and down the beach having joyrides. They have loud speakers all the way along the beach through which they tell people to wear sunscreen FFS! Its beyond ridiculous. At the slightest sign of a few waves they put up signs declaring "beach closed fines apply" But they cannot issue fines and when we asked them about it they were clueless. We purposely swim right in front of their stupid signs as an up yours to authority.

The beaches are owned by no-one and after 50 years of swimming where I want no-one is going to tell me where I can and can't swim. Its particularly irritating when its some teenager from the western suburbs who's young enough to be my grandchild. They are seriously like annoying flies. I quite often drive to other beaches now that are less militant where I know I'll be left alone because manly life guards are such wankers and have made the beach like a nanny state.