I would like to highlight to your readers that 993 people have drowned in a river, creek or stream in the past 13 years. This makes rivers the leading location for drowning in Australia.
All types of people are drowning in rivers from young children to the elderly. What is most alarming is that almost three quarters of people who drowned in rivers, were close to their home and a majority were male.
So why are so many drowning in our local rivers?
The flat, still surface of a river, gives a false sense of security. You can’t see ice cold water, snags like tree branches or strong currents but they can be lethal.
Dangerous activities such as consuming alcohol, driving through floodwaters and not wearing a lifejacket are also adding to the alarming figures.
To lose a loved one so close to home when it could have been prevented is heartbreaking. People need to act responsibly around rivers and avoid any behaviour that may increase the risk of drowning.
Royal Life Saving Society – Australia has launched a campaign to save lives on Australian rivers and is asking when enjoying our rivers to please remember to:
• Always wear a Lifejacket
• Avoid alcohol around water
• Never swim alone and;
• Learn lifesaving skills
It’s simple, Respect the River
To get more information readers can go to www.royallifesaving.com.au/respecttheriver
Justin Scarr, CEO
Royal Life Saving Society – Aus