As the festive season gets into full swing, Canberrans are being urged to consider their safety and the safety of others over the holiday period.
“It’s a great time of year to get out and explore nature, but with soaring temperatures this summer, it’s best to be fully prepared when you’re taking a refreshing dip in our local rivers or out hiking in one of our reserves,” Director ACT Parks and Conservation, Daniel Iglesias said.
ACT Parks and Conservation and ACT Policing have provided the following simple tips for swimming this summer:
- Check the conditions: Beware of fast flowing water, submerged objects and always check the water depth before entering.
- Signal for help: If you get into trouble, stay calm and signal for help. Try floating on your back and let the current take you to shore.
- Swim with a buddy: Not only is it more fun swimming with a friend, but having someone else around while swimming can provide help in sticky situations.
- Don’t drink and swim: Stay out of the water if you have alcohol in your system – it’s not worth the risk.
And some simple tips for bushwalking:
- Plan your walk: Make sure you’re aware of how hard the walk is. If you’re comfortable with what to expect then it won’t throw any challenging surprises. Always check the weather forecast beforehand.
- Tell somebody: Let someone know where you’re headed and when you’re expected to return. If you get lost or hurt yourself, they will be able to raise the alarm.
- Stay on track: For your own safety, stick to the signposted tracks. This is to also protect the landscape and native animals who don’t like to be disturbed.
- Bring the essentials: A mobile phone is handy, but if you’re headed remotely consider taking a locator beacon. The most important thing to bring is plenty of water.
- Dress to the conditions: Always wear closed toe footwear and wear appropriate clothing. A waterproof jacket is lightweight and often comes in handy.
The ACT Government has also teamed up with ACT Policing to ensure Canberrans make “smart choices” about alcohol, drug use and road safety over summer. ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman, and Chief Police Officer for the ACT, Ray Johnson, have launched the 2018-19 ‘Safe Summer’ campaign.
The campaign aims to ensure roads, streets and venues are safe for every one, with ACT Policing continuing to work 24 hours a day over the summer period. Officers will be patrolling licensed premises and entertainment precincts, and on Canberra’s roads, targeting alcohol and drug related incidents, anti-social behaviour and impaired driving.
In addition to patrolling licensed premises, police will be maintaining “a highly visible presence” on Canberra’s roads throughout the campaign, targeting speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence.