British High Commissioner Menna Rawlings and Queensland Surf Life Savers joined Barmy Army supporters in Brisbane ahead of the first test match to wish the visiting England fans a safe trip this Ashes series.
Ms Rawlings noted that with over 30,000 English fans expected in Australia over the Ashes summer, the British Consulate in Brisbane had partnered with Surf Life Saving Queensland to share top tips with UK visitors on making the most of their trip on and off the pitch.
“I’m pleased to welcome the Barmy Army to Australia alongside the surf lifesavers today. As we head into the first Ashes test, it’s timely to remind UK visitors about the importance of sun and surf safety: for supporters, staying in top form means drinking lots of water and wearing plenty of SPF sunscreen.
“Indeed for those England fans who are wondering what the big yellow orb in the sky is - it’s the sun folks. So don’t forget to ‘slip, slop, slap’.
“Off the field, I’m ignoring any Aussie taunt that we Brits will be spending more time at the beach this Ashes due to the cricket wrapping up early. You should be so lucky (lucky lucky). But for those of us who get the chance to spend time in the Australian surf this summer, be sure to swim between the red and yellow surf lifesaving flags.
“I’d like to thank the surf life savers for the fantastic job they do keeping Australian beaches safe. This year alone they rescued at least 25 Brits from the Queensland water, with all but two of these rescues occurring outside of the flags. That underlines the importance of swimming at a patrolled beach where the lifesavers can see you – in between the flags.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland Chief Operating Officer George Hill said:
“Queensland has some of the best beaches in the world, with many of them just a straight drive from the Gabba. We want everyone who goes to the beach to have a great time, but we don’t want anyone to get bowled out.
If you’re ever stumped about where to swim, just look for the red and yellow flags.”
Over a breakfast event this morning, British Consulate staff and Queensland Surf Life Savers shared safety messaging and handed out sunscreen to Barmy Army supporters. UK visitors are encouraged to follow UK in Australia on social media and check online for the latest Foreign Office travel advice.