Scorching temperatures are forecast across Victoria tomorrow as the last day of summer, and the warmest start to autumn since 1989 is predicted, prompting lifesavers to urge the public to keep water safety front of mind in the heat.
“Large numbers of people are expected to head to our beaches, rivers and pools to cool off in the heat and we remind beachgoers to choose a location suitable to their level of ability,” says Kane Treloar, Life Saving Victoria’s acting operations manager. “Not all beaches are suitable for swimming and it’s important to read the signs and be aware of changing conditions.”
To find the hazard rating of the beach you’re heading to, go to www.beachsafe.org.au and when you arrive at the beach, remember to stop, look and plan before rushing into the water.
“It’s been a summer season marred by drowning tragedy,” says Mr Treloar. “So, it’s important to be vigilant about safety at all beaches – both coastal and in Port Phillip Bay.”
Rips are the number one beach hazard for swimmers. Life Saving Victoria recommends if you’re caught in a rip current, stay calm, conserve your energy and consider these options – wave an arm and call out to seek help; float with the current, which may return you to a shallow sandbank; swim parallel to the beach, which may help you escape the rip current; and then reassess the situation – if what you’re doing isn’t working, try another option until you return to the shore. Stay calm, all rips can be escaped from.
Multilingual beach safety resources can be also be found at beachsafe.org.au/surf-safety/multilingual. 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.