With the warmer weather now upon us Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents to play it safe in the water.
Residents and visitors to the Southern Highlands are spoiled for choice when it comes to places to cool off with local swimming pools, rivers and swimming holes among the most popular places to escape the summer heat.
“While we want people to enjoy the water, it’s important to understand that it can also be dangerous,” said Council’s Deputy General Manager Corporate Strategy and Development Services, Mark Pepping.
According to the Royal Life Saving Society there were 1,113 drowning deaths in Australian rivers, creeks and streams between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2017.
“The flat, still surface of an inland waterway can give a false sense of security,” said Mr Pepping.
“Changing seasonal patterns, flooding and other effects of nature can cause inland waterways to change,” he continued. “People of all ages and abilities can quickly find themselves in trouble.”
The NSW Royal Life Saving Respect the River initiative aims to increase awareness of the dangers of the inland waters and identifies precautions for swimming safely in an inland waterway.
For more information see www.royallifesaving.com.au/programs/respecttheriver.
Council is also encouraging residents to check the safety of their backyard swimming pools.
Mr Pepping said that with more than 900 pools registered across the Shire, it was vital that owners did the right thing.
“A little prevention now can prevent a terrible tragedy from occurring,” he said.
For more information on the legal requirements relating to swimming pool fencing visit www.royallifesaving.com.au or contact Council on phone 02 4868 0888.