Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is urging beachgoers to be cautious around the coast this holiday season, following the worst summer drowning toll on record last season, and a 50% increase in coastal drownings, including one on Christmas Day.
“Over the last ten years, there have been five drowning deaths in Victoria either on Christmas Day or Boxing Day,” says Kane Treloar, LSV lifesaving operations spokesperson. “We want everyone to come home safely from a day at the beach – especially at this time of the year.”
He urges caution for beachgoers this holiday period and encourages everyone heading to the beach to research beach hazard ratings, educate themselves on rip currents and find patrolled locations at www.beachsafe.org.au.
Extra lifeguards will be on patrol from this week, with the Christmas to New Year period traditionally the busiest time on Victorian beaches.
“Know your limitations, look out for your friends and loved ones, and take time to check conditions before entering the water,” says Mr Treloar. “Conditions can change quickly so we ask people to check weather forecasts and monitor the conditions.”
Figures from the latest Victorian Drowning Report show that 40 people drowned in Victoria in the 2017/18 financial year, a 5 per cent increase on the 10-year average.