Warning to play it safe on rivers
New campaign aims to cut drowning cases
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.