LSV is undertaking a number of measures to reduce the drowning toll on the Mornington Peninsula.
The coastal area was classified as a national blackspot area by Surf Life Saving Australia after 22 drowning deaths between 2004 and 2014.
Rescues in the region also represented about one third of all rescues during the lifesaving patrol season in Victoria over an eight year period to 2015.
In response, LSV is embarking on a public education safety campaign to encourage beach goers to read beach hazard signs before entering the water.
LSV Principal Research Associate Dr Bernadette Matthews said the project aims to increase awareness of risks associated with swimming and recreational activities.
“Each year there are more than 300,000 visitors to the eight patrolled beaches on the Mornington Peninsula during the lifesaving season,’’ Dr Matthews said.
“There are also an additional 90 beaches in the region that do not have a lifesaving service, but attract large numbers of visitors.
“Our aim is to encourage beach patrons to routinely check beach signage to be aware of local hazards and conditions.’’
A geo-targeted social media campaign about being aware and prepared for the conditions, and learning about the local hazards by reading the safety signs at the entrance to the beach is being undertaken.
LSV is also working together with Mornington Peninsula Shire, Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to conduct risk assessments of beaches in the area.
Residents and visitors are also being encouraged to download the Beachsafe App for information about local beach conditions, as well as the Vic Emergency App to receive warnings about beach closures and hazards. Both are available from the App store and Google Play.