Summer campaign for safe swimming

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times

Royal Life Saving Australia has launched the summer drowning toll to raise community awareness about safety around water heading into the holiday season.

According to the 2019 Royal Surf Lifesaving WA national drowning report, people in regional and remote areas are two times more likely to drown.

City of Bunbury Surf Lifesaving president, Denise Duncan said this was due to two main reasons.

“Distance from services and tourists who have limited knowledge of our coastline and waterways,” Mrs Duncan said.

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“This demonstrates the need for people to know first aid so as they can provide appropriate assistance immediately.”

Mrs Duncan said the risks around water increased when people were overconfident in their swimming abilities.

“(Risks include) unsupervised children, not swimming at a patrolled location under the watchful eye of surf lifesavers, overconfidence in the water, meaning often they go out of their depth, overestimating their abilities and the inability to read the conditions such as identifying a rip or strong currents in waterways,” Mrs Duncan said.

“Always send for help immediately and assess the risk so you don’t put yourself in danger, stay calm and first aid training is important to be able to provide necessary treatment.

Mrs Duncan said people should try to visit patrolled beaches which could be found at www.mybeach.com.au/mybeach.

Royal Life Saving chief executive Justin Scarr said Royal Life Saving urged people over the age of 45 years, especially men, to ensure they were Swim Ready in the lead up to the holidays.

“We recommend a visit to the doctor to check on the swimming impacts of medical conditions or medications,” Mr Scarr said.

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