It might be the first day of winter, but did you know almost a third of Victorian drowning deaths last year happened during the colder autumn and winter months?
“Safety around water is still important during winter,” says Dr Bernadette Matthews, Life Saving Victoria (LSV)’s Principal Research Associate and author of the Victorian Drowning Report. “Last winter, during July, there were significant increases in drowning deaths compared to the ten-year average. Over the 2016-17 period, 40% of drowning deaths involved unintentional water entry.”
Life Saving Victoria is urging Victorians to wear life jackets and carry the appropriate safety equipment while boating and to remember to always check weather conditions before a day on the water.
“While around the pool, actively supervise children – this means being within arm’s reach,” says Dr Matthews. “Also remember that inland waterways have many hidden dangers, such as submerged objects, debris and strong currents. Watch for unstable edges to prevent falling in.”
Driving through, or playing in, flood waters is also dangerous because of strong currents, submerged objects and potentially toxic water – never drive, walk or ride through floodwater to stay safe this winter.
“Whether it’s at the beach, around the pool or at a river, we’re urging parents and carers to actively supervise children with an important reminder that it only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown,” says Dr Matthews.
Download the Vic Emergency App for waterway warnings at emergency.vic.gov.au and be aware and prepared for conditions by checking the Bureau of Meteorology app or bom.gov.au, for up-to-date conditions and warnings.
For further information please call LSV media on 0411 193 962