Costa, one of the Coffs Coast’s largest employers, teamed up with the Coffs Harbour Lifeguards to provide a free surf safety information session for workers as part of the inaugural Eco Surf Fest at Woolgoolga.
Based at Corindi, Costa employs around 1700 local and seasonal workers during the peak harvest season in October and November.
To help them stay safe in the surf, Council’s Lifeguards ran a free safety session at Woolgoolga Beach on the weekend. The surf safety sessions are in addition to brochures which are produced in a variety of languages and distributed as part of Costa’s induction.
Christian Parsons, Regional Manager for Corindi, said Costa’s workforce was very diverse, representing more than 50 nationalities.
“We have a beautiful coastal lifestyle and want to ensure that all our employees are educated about how to stay safe in the water. We are pleased to be able to team up with the Coffs Harbour Lifeguards to provide a hands-on activity, demonstrating how to keep safe in the water,” Mr Parsons said.
“We are also very appreciative of the valuable service provided by the Council Lifeguard Service and the volunteer Surf Life Saving clubs, through their education programs and beach patrols.”
Greg Hackfath, Team Leader Lifeguard Services, said having such opportunities are essential.
“To know where to swim, the significance of the red and yellow flags, who to call in an emergency, flotation devices as aids in staying alive and what to do if they get into trouble in the surf are all vital messages that we’re happy to promote.
“All the participants had a briefing on Australian beach conditions and how to keep safe, as well as a supervised board session in the water, which was a fun way to finish the morning.
“Getting this information to non-English speaking workers and migrants is always a challenge and Costa is taking some great steps towards this. I’d also like to thank Solitary Islands Surf School, who donated their time to help with safety supervision on the day.”
Costa is Australia’s leading horticultural company with operations covering berries, mushrooms, citrus, glasshouse tomatoes and avocados. It has more than 3500 hectares of farmland spread across the country.