Water safety a priority for visitors and locals
Published: 28 Sep 2023 1:50pm
As the warmer weather is upon us, Wagga Wagga City Council is reminding residents and visitors about the importance of water safety.
Whether you’re near the Murrumbidgee River or exploring other bodies of water like lakes, creeks, dams or swimming pools while enjoying swimming, fishing, camping, canoeing or kayaking, preparation and vigilance are key.
Council’s Manager Recreation and Economic Development Ben Creighton is encouraging the community to take care when taking part in recreational activities, particularly at the Murrumbidgee River.
“The river can change, there are many hidden dangers as well as cold and fast flowing water,” Mr Creighton said.
“While unfamiliar swimming locations pose increased risk for visitors, the risks are just as real for locals.
“Recent research by Royal Life Saving Society shows that 40 per cent of those who drowned in inland waterways were within 20km of home at the time.
“This tragic figure emphasises that no matter how familiar we think we are with our local river it still poses a risk. Water safety for children is paramount, but also needs to be considered by older more experienced swimmers with the research revealing 44 per cent of people who drowned in rivers, creeks, lakes and dams were aged 25 to 54.
“We want the community to enjoy their time in and around water, but we urge them to be prepared, to look out for each other, listen to any advice and warnings, and make good decisions.”
Here are some safety tips for around the water:
- Check conditions before entering the water.
- Enter the water slowly, feet first.
- Take care around crumbling riverbeds and slippery dam edges.
- Avoid underwater obstacles such as rocks, branches, rubbish.
- Take care when walking on unstable or slippery riverbeds.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs around water.
- Wear a lifejacket when boating or using watercraft.
- Always swim with a friend.