WITH thousands of Redlanders heading to local beaches over the holiday period, lifesavers and health experts are urging people to stay safe to avoid tragedy.
Beaches at Dunwich, Amity and Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island are among the south-east's top swimming destinations, with swimming spots on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, Victoria Point, Raby Bay and Wellington Point also being popular.
Surf Life Saving Queensland urged beachgoers to swim at patrolled beaches between the flags, supervise children and always swim with a buddy.
They should also avoid drinking and swimming and beachgoers over 50 should have regular medical check-ups.
It comes after Royal Life Saving launched the Summer Drowning Toll to track drowning over summer and to raise community awareness about water safety.
Last summer the Royal Life Saving National Drowning report showed that 123 people drowned in waterways and swimming pools across Australia.
Drowning in summer commonly occurred in rivers, beaches and swimming pools, with the Christmas and New Year period a time of key concern.
Research also showed that 11 per cent of media-reported drowning events last summer were subsequently ruled to be from other causes of death, mostly frequently cardiac and other medical emergencies whilst swimming.
Royal Life Saving chief executive Justin Scarr said people over 45 should ensure they were swim ready in the lead-up to the summer holiday period.
"We recommend a visit to the doctor to check on the swimming impacts of known medical conditions or medications," he said.
Meanwhile, Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Chris McMillan urged residents to be wary and said people could burn in as little as 10 minutes.
Queensland is the skin cancer capital of the world due to consistently high levels of ultraviolet radiation.
"Each year in Queensland around 3,960 people are diagnosed with melanoma," Ms McMillan said.
Queenslanders can download the free SunSmart app for live updates on UV levels.
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