Re­spect the river

Isis Town and Country - - Opinion -

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 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 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. Justin Scarr CEO Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety – Aus­tralia

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