Warn­ing to play it safe on rivers

New cam­paign aims to cut drown­ing cases

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - BEN WATER­WORTH

ROYAL Life Sav­ing Tas­ma­nia has urged res­i­dents in the Der­went Val­ley to take ex­tra care this Easter long week­end to pre­vent drown­ings around the Der­went River and other in­land wa­ter­ways.

A new na­tional cam­paign was launched to­day by the Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia and the or­gan­i­sa­tion has made par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on those swim­ming in the Der­went River, which has a higher than av­er­age drown­ing rate com­pared to the na­tional av­er­age.

In 2015, Tas­ma­nia recorded the high­est na­tional drown­ing rate of 1.75 per 100,000 peo­ple, ahead of the North­ern Ter­ri­tory (1.64 per 100,000) and Western Aus­tralia (1.51 per 100,000).

The Der­went River was also iden­ti­fied as one of Aus­tralia’s top 10 drown­ing black spots in 2014.

RLST gen­eral man­ager Mel Bush en­cour­aged res­i­dents in the Der­went Val­ley to en­joy the rivers safely across this Easter week­end.

“Easter is a great time to en­joy our fan­tas­tic rivers whether we are swim­ming, boat­ing, fish­ing or camp­ing, but we do need to keep in mind that Aus­tralians are drown­ing in in­creas­ing num­bers in our in­land wa­ter­ways,” she said.

“We are urg­ing peo­ple to re­spect the river, wear a life­jacket, avoid al­co­hol around wa­ter, never swim alone and learn how to save a life.”

Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Justin Scarr echoed the calls for safe wa­ter use this week­end.

“We tra­di­tion­ally see a spike in drown­ing deaths on pub­lic hol­i­days and the Easter pe­riod is no ex­cep­tion,” Mr Scarr said.

“It’s a pop­u­lar time for peo­ple to camp, boat and fish at our in­land wa­ter­ways and our aim is to en­sure peo­ple en­joy our rivers and streams safely.”

The fore­cast for the week­end is look­ing favourable for New Nor­folk with tem­per­a­tures not ex­pected to drop below 20C all week­end.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy is pre­dict­ing cloudy and partly cloudy days on Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day with the tem­per­a­ture reach­ing a high of 22C on Fri­day be­fore 21C on Satur­day and 20C on Sun­day.

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