‘Stay Safe Summer’ water safety

The ACT Government together with the Royal Life Saving Society have today launched the ‘Stay Safe Summer’ campaign ahead of the busy summer swim season.

As the weather heats up and everyone heads to aquatic centres, pools, lakes, water parks and other swimming spots this summer, ensuring everyone in the family knows how to swim and has the knowledge and skills to handle emergencies around water is critical.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Yvette Berry said, “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. 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,” Minister Berry said.

Royal Life Saving ACT CEO, Cherry Bailey said, “Our biggest concern heading into summer every year is the significant number of people who do get into trouble. We encourage people to know their abilities and limitations and to investigate swimming and first aid programs to build their skills.

“If unsure, it’s best to visit the well-supervised ACT Public Pools to cool off, rather than unpatrolled waterways,” Ms Bailey said.

Together with the Royal Life Saving Society, the ACT Government is exploring new drowning prevention strategies and initiatives to help all members of the community, regardless of age or skill level, to be able to enjoy the water this summer. These initiatives include:

  • Promotion of a “Swim Ready” initiative targeting over 45’s
  • Options for Cultural Competency program to support our Aquatic Industry workforce to support participation and water safety within our diverse community
  • Coming in 2020, a pilot program to install two Permanent Emergency Response Beacons at two sites across Canberra, helping provide a technological solution to incident response.

Additional water safety tips can be found at www.royallifesaving.com.au/act

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