The ACT Government and the Royal Life Saving Society have joined forces to launch the ‘Stay Safe Summer’ campaign, to encourage water safety over the warmer months as people head to pools, lakes, water parks and other swimming spots.
“While the scorching summer heat often sees Canberrans escape to the coast, it’s important to be aware that the dangers of rivers, creeks and streams can be just as hazardous,” said Sport and Recreation Minister Yvette Berry.
“Inland waterways are the main sites of drowning fatalities in Australia.
“Canberra has some great spots that are easy to access, making them particularly popular during the summer months. Two people drowned in the ACT in the past year, both in inland waterways. That’s two people too many.”
Royal Life Saving ACT CEO Cherry Bailey said the organisation’s biggest concern heading into summer every year is the “significant number” of people who end up in trouble in the water.
“We encourage people to know their abilities and limitations and to investigate swimming and first aid programs to build their skills,” she said.
“If unsure, it’s best to visit the well-supervised ACT public pools to cool off, rather than unpatrolled waterways.”
ACT Government and the Royal Life Saving Society have come up with drowning prevention strategies and initiatives including a ‘swim ready’ initative targeting those over 45, and a Cultural Competency program to support the aquatic industry workforce to foster participation and water safety in the community.
In 2020, two emergency response beacons will be installed at two sites across Canberra, to provide a technological response to emergencies as part of a pilot program.
For more information and water safety tips, visit royallifesaving.com.au/act