River safety message spread
RIVERS and other inland waterways account for more drownings than beaches and swimming pools, according to research from the Royal Life Saving Society.
The research found WA rivers claimed the lives of 78 people since July 1 2002, and the Swan River was the fourth most dangerous spot for drowning in Australia.
Royal Life Saving Society WA (RLSSWA) chief executive Peter Leaversuch said rivers held a number of hidden dangers.
“Although our rivers are beautiful, more people drown there than anywhere else because the dangers are often lurking below the surface,” he said.
“You simply can’t see ice cold water, snags like tree branches or strong currents but they can be lethal.”
RLSSWA held a Swim and Survive on the Swan program at the Ascot Kayak Club last week.
The aim was to raise awareness of the potential danger and teach children essential swimming and life saving skills.
“We are asking people to follow four simple steps to reduce their drowning risk in rivers: wear a life jacket, avoid alcohol, never swim alone and learn how to save a life,” Mr Leaversuch said.
Swan MHR Steve Irons attended the program and said it was essential children learn life saving skills and ensure safety was a priority.
Royal Life Saving Society WA chief executive Peter Leaversuch with Swan MHR Steve Irons.