SURF lifesavers are calling for caution at the region's beaches as a new patrol season is set to begin.
Lifesaving patrols at Warrnambool, Port Campbell, Port Fairy and Portland start on Saturday November 28.
Warrnambool Surf Lifesaving Club captain Jo McDowall asked swimmers to be cautious when visiting beaches this summer.
"Make sure you're always swimming with someone and never alone, also be really cautious this summer because a lot of people have had time away from the water," she said.
"So we are promoting the campaign of stop, take stock of where you are, what the conditions are and make sure before you enter the water it is safe.
"If you are unsure of your abilities be cautious because we really don't want to see any incidents this summer.
"Unfortunately, even though the warm weather has started, we are seeing across Victoria we are having drowning incidents."
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On Sunday a Melbourne man was rescued at Logan's Beach. Ms McDowall is reminding all swimmers to head to patrolled beaches this summer.
"There are beaches that are known to be dangerous and Logan's beach is not a beach you should swim at," she said.
"There are advisory signs when you do enter beaches and they are put up to say 'this beach isn't recommended for swimming'.
"The best thing is to pick a patrolled beach and to come and swim there when the flags are up because you know people are going to be looking out for you."
Ms McDowall said patrols would run as normal but with social distancing protocols in place. The club has strong patrolling member numbers but are always open to new faces.
Professional lifeguards will patrol Monday to Saturday morning from Boxing day through to Australia Day. Volunteers will be on hand for weekends from November until Easter.
Last season volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards in Victoria performed 475 rescues, attended 2339 first aid incidents and helped keep an estimated more than 2.34 million visitors to the state's beaches safe.
Lifesaving Victoria Lifesaving Services General Manager Liam Krige said a number of pre-season rescues at beaches this year highlighted the need for all Victorians to play it extra safe on the water
"We've seen about a half dozen similar rescues take place at beaches around the state in the lead up to the patrol season," he said.
"It's thanks to the immediate actions taken by off-duty lifesavers and members of the public that tragedy has been prevented for a number of Victorian families."
Mr Krige said while the summer was likely to be a different one for Victorian beachgoers, the important water safety messages remained the same.
"Wherever possible, swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags, make sure to check the weather and conditions, read safety signs and always swim with a friend," he said.
"If you haven't been out in the water for a while, please take extra precautions and prepare and plan your day.
"All beaches, even bay beaches can be dangerous and have hidden dangers such as rips.
"Make sure to check the weather and conditions, use the beachsafe.org.au website to find patrolled beaches and always go swimming with a friend.
"We ask that all Victorians understand the current public health restrictions prior to heading out to beaches and inland waterways this summer and follow the guidelines - including making sure they wear a fitted mask, are practicing physical distancing and observing group size limits."
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