Rivers need re­spect

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FEEDBACK -

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 al­most three quar­ters of peo­ple who drowned in rivers, were near 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.

JUSTIN SCARR, Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety

Chief ex­ec­u­tive

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