Water safety over summer
- Date: 27 October 2017
- Category: News
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For many of us, an Australian summer means sun, sand and swimming. But whether in the pool, beach, river or creek, swimming is not just a leisure activity - it is a life-skill. The way we approach water safety for ourselves and those around us is of utmost importance.
In the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2017 released this year, the total amount of fatal drownings in Australian waterways between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017 was 291 (that’s up from 282 the previous year). It’s estimated that 685 non-fatal drowning incidents resulting in hospitalisation also occurred.
Many of these deaths happened, not surprisingly, during the warmer spring and summer months. So as we head into the warmer weather, it’s a good idea to refresh ourselves on some of the important water safety dos and don’ts:
Never swim alone, avoid alcohol when swimming, and always ensure you are swimming in a safe, patrolled area like between the flags at the beach.
The Drowning Report also shows that Indigenous, migrant and refugee communities are most at risk, being the least likely to achieve national swimming benchmarks. It is so important for children and adults in all communities to be equipped with swimming and water safety skills needed to enjoy the water safely.
To address the concerning issue that not all Australians are equipped with water safety skills, the YMCA is launching its Swimming Lessons Awareness campaign, to encourage more parents to enrol their children in YMCA Swimming Lessons. The YMCA is an expert in the aquatics sector, with some of the best swimming teachers in the country working to ensure everybody enrolled in swimming lessons knows how to be safe in the water.
Please enjoy the water safely wherever you might be taking a dip over summer.