I wrote a series of native content 'click-bait' articles for the Royal Life Saving Society Australia for the Easter long-weekend reminding them to stay safe. View article>>
Escaping the heat to cool off in the river, stream or lake sounds like the perfect long weekend day. Last year, 97 people died doing just this.
Hidden rocks. Submerged trees. Strong undertows. These are just a some of the dangers lurking below the waterline. When you add a few drinks, the risks can add up fast. Unsuspecting swimmers can be quickly dragged away. Thrillseeking rock jumpers can land on underwater objects, ending up with severe injuries, or worse. What’s more,
many inland waterways aren’t patrolled, so if you get into trouble, help could be a long way off.
Remember, water conditions can change by the hour. A river that seemed completely safe during a morning swim, may have a powerful current come lunchtime. Be prepared by studying the conditions - take the time to understand the waterway and ask a local. Always enter the water slowly, feet first, and never just dive in.
There are a few simple things you can do to make the long weekend enjoyable and safe for everyone
- Never go alone
- Wear a lifejacket whenever you’re on the water – boating, kayaking or paddleboarding
- Make sure your mates steer clear of the boat and avoid swimming after they’ve had a few
- Watch out for your mates. Don’t let anyone hang out alone by the water, especially if they’ve been drinking
- Make sure you or someone in your group knows CPR or first aid
- Be prepared – tell someone where you’re going, take appropriate supplies, check weather conditions
Keep safety top of mind when swimming in inland waterways. Take extra precaution around the following high risk river and lake drowning blackspots: Murray River, Brisbane River, Yarra River, Hawkesbury River, Murrumbidgee River, Swan River, Parramatta River, Tweed River, Georges River, Nepean River, Goulburn River (VIC), Macquarie River, Lake Macquarie, Lake Eildon, Lake Eucumbene, Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Hume and Lake Illawarra.
For more information please visit; https://www.royallifesaving.com.au/programs/respecttheriver/about