Stay safe in the water this Summer
When the weather gets hot over summer, people naturally head to the water to cool down. Our beaches, lakes and rivers across the state are inundated with people wanting to swim, play, paddle and have fun in the water. However, it's important to be aware of the risks of swimming in nature whether it's at the beach, in a lake, river or near a waterfall.
In 2019, 40 people drowned and each year there are 350-400 new cases of spinal cord injuries reported. Nine per cent of these are caused by water-related accidents.
Parks Victoria manages 70% of Victoria’s coastline and 211 piers and jetties around the state. We are a safety-first organisation, focused on protecting our visitors while providing world-class nature-based experiences. We take all the necessary steps to install signage and physical barriers at some sites to protect visitors, but we are disappointed to find that they are often overlooked or ignored.
Jumping from piers and jetties might seem like a harmless activity on hot days, however it is a dangerous activity that can lead to serious injury. Water depths, sand bars and submerged debris and rubbish around piers can change on a daily basis which makes water conditions unpredictable.
Top tips to stay safe in the water:
- Do not jump off piers and jetties
- Observe all safety signage and barriers
- Play it safe by the water
- Only swim where permitted
- Do not swim by yourself
Safety is everyone's responsibility. If you are keen to swim at the beach this summer, make sure you follow all the safety signs and take extra care when swimming. Don't take the risk and don't jump from piers and jetties this summer.
For those that want to be safe and jump into water this summer, do it at your local swimming pool where the conditions are set - you can see the bottom, there are no tidal movements or unexpected hazards and there is someone on duty to lookout for your safety and well-being.
For more details on water safety for you and your family, look at Play It Safe by the Water, a public education and awareness program that aims to increase safety around water and reduce the number of drowning incidents in Victoria. The program also alerts Victorians to the risk associated with swimming in coastal and inland waterways.